MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Manchester City has completed the signing of Samir Nasri from Arsenal, adding the France midfielder to an expensively assembled squad already filled with attacking talent.
The 24-year-old Nasri signed a four-year contract on Wednesday after City paid a reported 24 million pounds ($40 million).
''He's a fantastic player because he has technique, he has mentality,'' City manager Roberto Mancini said on City's website. ''I knew him when he played for Marseille, I followed him when I was at Inter Milan and we wanted to take him five years ago.
''But I think in the last three years in the Premier League he's improved a lot. Now I think he's a top player.''
Arsenal was compelled to sell after three years because Nasri refused to sign a new contract and could have left on a free transfer next year when his most recent deal expired.
''It's a big relief because there were long, long negotiations between the two clubs,'' Nasri said. ''Now I'm finally a City player and I'm really happy ... it's a new start.''
Nasri also gave a parting shot to Arsenal supporters, saying he expects a more passionate atmosphere at Eastlands that at the Emirates Stadium.
''Arsenal have good fans but they are not that passionate since they moved from Highbury to the Emirates (in 2006),'' he said.
Nasri will be providing even more creativity for a City team already including the attacking talents of Spain midfielder David Silva, England winger Adam Johnson and Argentina forward Sergio Aguero thanks to Sheik Mansour's investment of more than $1 billion in three years as owner.
''Nasri (is) a player maybe like David Silva but the difference from David is he can play also in the middle,'' Mancini said. ''Samir can play like a midfielder but he can play also near the striker because he has technique, he can score, he can assist.''