LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini Sunday warned his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger that his team is likely to abandon its pursuit of midfielder Samir Nasri if he is selected to play for the Gunners against Udinese in the Champions League this week.
Mancini hopes that Nasri will finally complete a protracted £22 million (US$36M) move in the next 48 hours, but he suggested that the club would reconsider its options if the French international featured in the second leg of Arsenal's play-off on Wednesday.
That would make Nasri, who started for Arsenal against Liverpool on Saturday, ineligible to play for City in the competition. But while Mancini admitted it would create a "big problem," the City manager does not expect the situation to come to that.
The deal has stalled over demands by Nasri's agents for a reputed £3 million in commission, although a compromise is expected to be reached.
"I don't think it will be a problem," Mancini said after watching his team beat Bolton Wanderers 3-2 at the Reebok Stadium to return to the top of the English Premier League.
"I think we can close in the next two days, but if he plays in the Champions League, it will be a big problem.
"It's a big problem because we have followed Nasri for 40 days and I have hoped it [would be completed] in two days or in three days. I am sure we can close this in 24 or 48 hours, but I don't know why it hasn't been closed."
Asked if he could pursue alternative targets if Nasri played against Udinese, Mancini said, "It could be possible, yes."
Even if City does buy Nasri, Mancini is eager to sign at least one more player -- expressing the wish that the Frenchman would not be the last arrival at the Etihad Stadium before the close of the transfer window in 10 days. However sources at the club played down the prospect of another purchase, The (London) Times reported.