Samir Nasri could’ve and probably should’ve been a Manchester United player in 2011 if it wasn’t for their noisy neighbours.
National papers have made a bit of a habit out of quoting names likely picked out of a hand from random and accompanying them with typical transfer buzzwords and ‘Manchester United’ – it’s a fail-proof way to create a rumour storm, after all. Obviously, such hearsay rarely comes to fruition; however, just for a moment, imagine the state of the Manchester United squad if every player they had been linked with over the years had joined.
The one that got away – Samir Nasri and Manchester United, 2011
The David Moyes era would have been utter carnage. Unfortunately, or fortunately, however, whichever way you’re inclined, the market doesn’t quite work like that and, for better or worse, the rest of the country have been spared further domination by the competition’s most successful club.
We think it’s fair to say that when Arsenal star Samir Nasri was linked with a move to Old Trafford in 2011, Manchester United still dominated the north-west market. A £20 million bid had been lodged to prise contract rebel Nasri away from north London and despite then manager Arsene Wenger insisting that, ‘One thing’s for sure: we’re not selling him (Nasri) to Manchester United,’ (as per Telegraph) there was absolutely no reason to believe he wouldn’t keel eventually. Arsenal usually do, don’t they?
For all the club’s confidence that the deal would be completed, one thing Manchester United neglected to consider is that a sky-blue wave was forming across the city. The kind of wave that crashes down and wipes out an entire civilisation, culture and power structure; an immense power that would subsequently alter the fabric of football-based dominance in Manchester.
Indeed, backed by their oil-rich owners Manchester City swooped in to hijack the transfer, and by August 24, 2011, Nasri had a new club. Just not the one fans were anticipating.
“Now I am finally a City player and that’s all I wanted since the start. It is a big day for me. It is a new start,” he said (as per BBC Sport).
“I was a little bit frustrated because I said to the manager I wanted to leave. I stayed for the whole pre-season. I wanted to do the pre-season with Manchester to know my team-mates.”
Of course you did.
The Frenchman would go on to win two Premier League titles with the club and one domestic cup before moving onto Turkey and Antalyaspor, where he accumulated no silverware and settled with a lengthy drugs ban instead.