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Jan 31, 2013

Nasri omitted from France squad again

Samir Nasri has once more missed out on a recall to the France squad after Didier Deschamps did not include the Manchester City midfielder in his squad for next week's friendly with Germany.

• Ribery: Press tried to finish me

Nasri, 25, has not featured for the national team since Euro 2012, after which he was handed a three-match international ban for a foul-mouthed tirade after Les Bleus' quarter-final exit.

The midfielder's former Arsenal team-mate Bacary Sagna, whose last cap came in September 2011, is included, though fellow Gunner Abou Diaby is not.

Despite Arsene Wenger earlier this week voicing fears the fragile Diaby would be included, Deschamps insisted it was never an option.

"Diaby wasn't even among the players given a pre-call-up, so I couldn't put him in," the 1998 World Cup-winning captain said. "I took the decision on 23 January, when I sent out the list of those likely to be called up. Clearly, the fax had a little trouble getting across the Channel."

The list includes nine Premier League-based players, including Newcastle United trio Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko and Mathieu Debuchy, though Magpies defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will miss the game at the Stade de France next Wednesday.

Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane is included again after being called up for the first time last August, while Rennes' in-form attacking midfielder Romain Alessandrini, who is in his debut Ligue 1 season, receives a first call-up.

"I've been following him for some time," Deschamps explained. "He scores and makes others score. He's very good technically."

Juventus' Paul Pogba, who has been in excellent form this season since joining the Bianconeri from Manchester United last summer, had been tipped to join Alessandrini in receiving a maiden call-up, but the 19-year-old has been told he must bide his time.

"He's got potential, but is young and still has some steps to take. He's had just half-a-season at a big club," Deschamps said. "To pick him, I would have had to leave someone else out. Those who've been called up have performed consistently since the start of the season."

France sqaud to face Germany on February 6:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickael Landreau (Bastia)

Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Adil Rami (Valencia), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)

Forwards: Romain Alessandrini (Rennes), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Jeremy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon)

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