Nasri: Kroenke sold me for 'the money'
Samir Nasri has accused Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke of selling him to Manchester City because he 'wanted the money', in comments that are likely to further strain his already fraught relationship with his former employers.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger always insisted he was under no pressure to sell Nasri to City for £24m in August 2011, even though the French midfielder had just one year left on his Arsenal contract.
Yet Nasri has offered up a differing version of events, in an interview with French TV channel beIN Sport that has been translated by several British newspapers.
"Wenger told me that if Cesc (Fabregas) left, I would stay but Kroenke wanted the money," Nasri was translated as saying by the Daily Mirror. "Cesc was already gone, I had only one year left so I decided to leave.
"I do not have regrets. I do not regret joining Manchester City. I want to play and perform. My departure from Arsenal is purely for sporting reasons. When you compare Arsenal and City, it's not the same. With City I'm playing in a better team. I didn't leave for money.
"I only regret not having more discussions with Arsene Wenger when I left. Arsene Wenger is the greatest coach I have worked with. He made me the player I am. I'm very grateful."
Nasri's comments seem certain to be disputed by Wenger, who has long claimed he is in sole charge of transfer policy at Arsenal and insisted at the time that the sale was 'logical' given the player's refusal to agree to a new deal with the club.
Meanwhile, Nasri conceded he has allowed his form to slide this season, as he responded to comments from Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini that he 'would like to give him a punch' after his lacklustre performances in recent months.
Nasri suggested he turned in his most impressive display of recent months in the 4-0 win against Newcastle last Saturday and rejected the claims by Mancini that he was not giving his all in training sessions.
"I am aware that I have not had a good season," he stated. "There are many reasons, but when Mancini said that I'm training at 50%, this is not true. I felt comfortable against Newcastle. It's been a while since I felt good."
Nasri went on to dismiss reports linking him with a summer move to Paris Saint-Germain or Monaco, but it is his comments surrounding his move from Arsenal that are bound to become a talking point in the coming days.