Manchester City are trying their best to seal a quick deal for Matija Nastasic, inviting AS Roma and Juventus to bid for the defender, reports The Daily Mail.
Manuel Pellegrini confirmed Nastasic would be allowed to leave the Etihad Arena this summer after falling down the pecking order. They are now looking to reclaim as much of the £16 million they paid for him as possible.
"Matija needs to play," the City boss told reporters. "We already have important players here with four full-backs, [Martin] Demichelis, [Vicent] Kompany, [Eliaquim] Mangala and [Dedryck] Boyata.
"So we will see in the next few days what happens with Nastasic. He is an important player, but he has offers and I think the best thing for him is to play.”
Serie A interest
The heaviest interest seems to be coming from the Italian league where Nastasic originally made a name for himself with Fiorentina. Juventus and AS Roma have both sounded out the player over a move before the transfer deadline of September 2.
As Serie A champions, Juventus are naturally considered favourites to bad the 21-year-old’s signature, but Rudi Garcia could have more funds at his disposal if Mehdi Benatia secures a move to the Premier League.
Arsenal gunned down
If the young Serbian eventually ends up in Italy, it would be a blow for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who was considered a transfer bid following the departure of Thomas Vermaelen.
The Gunners are short of defensive options following Vermaelen’s £15 million move to Barcelona. Nastasic was sounded out as a potential replacement, but as Arsenal can’t guarantee a first team place, the deal could prove complicated.
As a result, Arsenal look set to pursue a deal for Greece and Olympiacos star Kostas Manolas. The 22-year-old would be cheaper for the Gunners at a transfer value of around £8 million, but would come with no Premier League experience.
Pellegrini keen not to sell to Arsenal?
Although Manchester City are keen to get Nastasic off the books, it would be natural for Pellegrini to be adverse to strengthening a direct Premier League rival. As such, Arsenal would probably have to pay a premium to secure his services, and paying premiums is not something Wenger likes to do.