Manchester City’s imminent deal for Eliaquim Mangala will see Matija Nastasic almost certainly leave the club this summer, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The publication claims that in light of Manuel Pellegrini’s bombshell yesterday - where he let slip that City are about to sign Mangala - the future of Nastasic is incredibly precarious. It’s said that the youngster may follow Joleon Lescott out the exit door, which could in turn be great news for Arsenal.
The Gunners, fresh from the sale of Thomas Vermaelen, could do with backup in the heart of their defence and, with only Calum Chambers to rely upon should either Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny pick up an injury, Nastasic is an ideal replacement. Arsene Wenger yesterday confirmed that he may well add another centre-back to the fold at the Emirates Stadium, and the idea of picking up a promising talent on the cheap could be enough to force his hand towards to the Etihad.
Nastasic at City
Nastasic, though once heralded as the long-term partner to City skipper Vincent Kompany, has struggled to make an impact consistently, and there’s few who believe he’s up to the task of being a first-choice centre-back in a team vying for major trophies. Having only made 13 appearances in the Premier League last term - admittedly partly through injury - his stock is at an all time low, and the 21-year-old may not now be given the time to right the wrongs of his Etihad career.
Of course Pellegrini isn’t foolish and, following the departure of the aforementioned Lescott, he will be all too aware that his options in the centre of defence are fairly thin on the ground, with Kompany currently the only high-profile character to be found. Others, such as Martin Demichelis and youngster Karim Rekik, are only considered to be reserve choices, and the City boss will be left reeling if his side are forced to start the new campaign without another introduction.
All is not lost though, and the crux to any Nastasic deal going through lies in the transfer of Mangala. The £32 million rated France international has long been tipped to leave Porto this summer, but it’s only in recent days that the idea of him moving to City has been all but set in stone.
Pellegrini’s slip up yesterday, with which he virtually confirmed that Mangala was already a City player in principle, will put most fans at ease. At the same time though, it looks like opening the door for Arsenal to grab Nastasic.