Manchester United have embarked for their United States pre-season summer tour and in Boston, the sight of the club's first stop, manager Sir Alex Ferguson indicated that Arsenal FC's Samir Nasri is unlikely to be joining the club.
"I don't think he is coming to United. That is all I can tell you. I think that he has agreed to go somewhere else. Maybe he has to stay at Arsenal too"
The other club that Nasri has recently been linked with is Manchester City. However, Arsenal's pre-season tour is through Asia and the French international has joined his current club on their travels. Only one year remains on his contract and if Arsenal are not able to extend it, they risk losing a valuable player next summer on a free transfer - Gunners manager, Arsene Wenger, has indicated that he prepared to do just that rather than sell during the current transfer window. Here are Fergie's thoughts on that possibility:
"That's a decision (Wenger) has made. If he stands by that decision it's a brave one. I'm not sure the Arsenal directors will enjoy that one, but it's possible."
Fergie further mused on a current hot-topic of discussion - replacing the retired Paul Scholes:
"How do you replace somebody like Paul Scholes? It's very difficult. If you bracket four of the best midfield players in the world he'd be alongside Xavi and Iniesta and then take your pick. In my mind he's one of the top four players in the world. How will we overcome it? Maybe the next few weeks will help us overcome it. Maybe somebody will emerge out of the youth team or one of the young players, and then we carry on"
During his press conference in Boston, there was no mention of another player that has been continually linked to United - Wesley Sneijder. Even after all of these years as the club's boss, getting a read on Fergie and his intentions has proven to be very difficult - the legendary manager is incredibly gifted at keeping his intentions, desires, and strategy close to to the vest. So while this does not necessarily give a strong indication to who United may or may not buy, it does hint that nobody is available to replace Scholes in a like-for-like manner - perhaps he feels prudent to not buy in the current market and to see if a Tom Cleverley, Anderson, or even Ravel Morrison can emerge. Quite simply though, it is all guesswork at this point.
How do you all feel about these quotes from the boss? If United does not buy a central midfielder during the current window, would that cause you to panic?