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Aug, 11, 2011

Cesc and Nasri look close to exits

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas appears on the verge of a move to Barcelona, with Spanish media claiming a £35 million deal is imminent, and Samir Nasri could also be set to exit the Emirates before the weekend.

• Cesc and Samir 'likely' to leave
• Vela could be loaned out - agent

Barcelona, who failed to capture Fabregas last summer, look to be close to finally securing a deal for the Spanish midfielder, who has made no secret of his desire to return to his boyhood club and bring an end to the protracted transfer saga.

European champions Barca had initially seen a £27 million offer rebuffed earlier this summer, as Arsenal remained steadfast in their demands over a £40 million fee for Fabregas.

However, with Barcelona not willing to significantly up their cash bid, and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger admitting the player was unsettled, it now appears as if Arsenal will have to allow the deal to go through for less than they had wanted.

Spain international Fabregas is said to have agreed to a wage cut and is prepared to waive the £4 million compensation he would be entitled to for the remainder of his long-term contract in order to push the move through, with reports suggesting he could be a Barcelona player by the end of the week.

While the transfer window does not close until the end of the month, Wenger has piled the pressure on the Catalan club by naming his captain in the squad to face Udinese in the Gunners' first Champions League qualifier next week.

Wenger will now focus his attentions on keeping hold of Nasri, with Manchester City ready to offer £22 million for the midfielder, who could leave on a free next summer.

Although the Frenchman has also been included in Arsenal's Champions League squad, reports in his homeland claim Nasri is unlikely to be at the club for the start of the European campaign.

Le Parisien reported on Thursday that a move to City was ''nearly completed'', while France Football claimed it's "just a matter of hours" before the deal is done.

The transfer specutlation would appear to be having an effect on the midfielder, who was substituted midway through the second half of Les Bleus 1-1 friendly draw with Chile on Wednesday night after a below-par performance.

"He has the ability to do better,'' said France boss Laurent Blanc. "I told him so, and he knows it. We put our confidence in him and he must return this. It will happen soon.''

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