Manchester City have alerted interested clubs after deciding to part ways with Matija Nastasic either on loan or permanently, reports Metro.
The news will be of particular interest to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who had pinpointed the centre-back as a possible replacement for Thomas Vermaelen.
Nastasic was something of a revelation at Manchester City after joining from Fiorentina in 2012. The 21-year-old, then 19, fitted into the set-up seamlessly as Vincent Kompany continued to struggle with injury.
However, those roles were reversed last season with Kompany returning to fitness and the Serbian international spending the vast majority of the campaign on the treatment table. With doubts lingering over his long-term availability, Manuel Pellegrini is ready to cash in on him once the prospective deal for Eliaquim Mangala has been completed.
Wenger has been an admirer of Nastasic since his youth level days. The same report claims that Arsenal have been tracking the centre-back since he was 16-years-old and Wenger is ready to take his chance to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
With Vermaelen set to leave for either Barcelona or Manchester United, Arsenal will be left with just two recognised centre-backs. Calum Chambers is expected to fill in as a fourth choice, but a backup for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny is required.
Possible loan deal
Although Manchester City are open to Nastasic leaving permanently, they are happy to agree a season-long loan deal, giving the club an option to complete the transfer for an agreed fee.
Such an option would be attractive to Wenger, who will no doubt have lingering concerns over Nastasic's fitness. The last thing Arsenal need is another injury-prone player after suffering with a plethora of injuries last season.
Vermaelen himself has spent a large proportion of his Arsenal career on the sidelines with a troublesome ankle injury attributed to his spectacular downfall in north London.
Naturally, Pellegrini will not be keen to sell a player to a direct rival despite the fact that so many Arsenal players have made the trip to the Etihad. Bacary Sagna abandoned Arsenal for the Citizens to join former Gunner Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy. Kolo toure and Emmanuel Adebayor have also made the move in the past before subsequently moving on.
Now is a chance for Wenger to exert some revenge on the club by forcing a move for one of their faltering talents and helping to rejuvenate his career. Nastasic is still highly regarded and has plenty of time to overcome his injury woes. Being third choice would be perfect for rehabilitation as it will allow optimum game time as he regains his form and fitness.
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