Gunners unsure over star duo

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been linked with a string of new

acquisitions as he looks to rebuild a squad which again failed to

last the distance. However, Bolton manager Owen Coyle has

maintained there had been “nothing concrete” in Arsenal’s reported

interest over £17m-rated England centre-back Gary Cahill and

as yet there has been no confirmation of a an £11m deal for

Ivory Coast forward Gervinho being signed and sealed. While both

Fabregas and Nasri are set to begin their work in the London Colney

gym before the whole group gets together in preparation for

Sunday’s departure on a short Far East tour, just who will be on

the plane remains to be seen. Gael Clichy, who had been the only

surviving member of Wenger’s Invincibles squad from their last

Premier League championship squad, is in Manchester and expected to

soon agree personal terms as Arsenal cash in now rather than

allowing the 25-year-old France international to leave on a free

transfer at the end of next season. Nasri is another player who has

yet to commit his long-term future to the Gunners – and hardly

pledged his allegiance to the badge in an interview at the weekend,

claiming his motivation was winning titles rather than just an

inflated wage packet. Fabregas, meanwhile, seems set to return to

his boyhood club Barcelona, although as yet there has been no

agreement on price, with the European champions expected to push

through an improved £30m-plus package before Arsenal head off

to Malaysia, where the London club would look to utilise their

skipper’s presence on a much-needed commercial drive. While Wenger

may well be playing his own game of poker in the transfer market,

with so far young defender Carl Jenkinson the only confirmed new

arrival, many of his reported transfer targets head elsewhere.

Bosnian centre-back Emir Spahic is to join Sevilla from

Montpellier, while Argentina youngster Ricky Alvarez is said to

have spurned Arsenal for Inter Milan. France midfielder Mathieu

Valbuena has also been linked with a move to Emirates Stadium.

However, Marseille coach Didier Deschamps was another rival manager

to insist the Gunners had not made any formal approach, telling La

Provence newspaper: “Mathieu has developed into a full

international here and is a player with a lot of quality. However,

I have been here for two years now and we have not received a

single concrete offer. “If an interesting offer comes in, we will

certainly consider it, but this is not the case as of now.”