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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Mancini: Nasri must not face Udinese

Roberto Mancini has warned Arsenal and Samir Nasri that it will be a "big problem" if the France international plays against Udinese this week.

• Mancini: Nasri deal is close

Nasri is believed to be on the verge of a £25 million move to Manchester City, a transfer that will ensure Arsenal do not lose the midfielder for nothing in 12 months' time. However, Mancini had hoped to sign Nasri by the end of the weekend, only for the deal to be delayed by the reported demands of the player's agent.

As a result, Arsene Wenger started Nasri in the weekend loss to Liverpool, and he claims he is not worried about picking him again for Wednesday's Champions League qualifier in Italy. Should Nasri feature at all during the 90 minutes, he would become ineligible for City's European campaign this season.

Mancini remains convinced the deal can be tied up imminently, but he did warn Arsenal and Nasri to seriously consider the consequences of playing in Udinese.

"I think we can close in the next two days, but if he plays in the Champions League, it will be a big problem," Mancini said.

"It's a big problem because we have followed Nasri for 40 days and I have hoped it [would be completed] in two days or in three days. I am sure we can close this in 24 or 48 hours, but I don't know why it hasn't been closed."

Asked if he could look elsewhere if Nasri becomes cup-tied, Mancini replied: "It could be possible, yes."

Manchester City currently top the Premier League table after they beat Bolton 3-2 on Sunday thanks to goals from David Silva, Gareth Barry and Edin Dzeko.

• Catch action from every Barclays Premier League match on your mobile for FREE on the enhanced ESPN Goals app (UK only).

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