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Nasri, 'Next Zidane,' headed to Arsenal?
by Joe Addison, June 24th, 2008 7AM



[TRANSFER TALK] According to his own website, Samir Nasri, often called the next Zidane, completed the switch from French team Marseille to Arsenal of the English Premier League. The young French international, who made two substitute appearances during France's Euro 2008 campaign, announced the move Monday, claiming he signed a four-year deal with the London club. Reports on the transfer fee range from $24 million-$32 million.

Neither team confirmed the transfer of the speedy winger who turns 21 on Thursday. His agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes, claims the announcement is premature and that no deal has been reached between the two clubs.

Like Zinedine Zidane, Nasri grew up in Marseilles, where he has spent four seasons at hometown club Olympique Marseille, earning the French first division's young player of the year honors in 2007.

In the buildup to Euro 2008, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, made no secret of his admiration for Nasri, claiming, "At 21 years old, his whole future is ahead of him and he has [quite] a margin for progressing further. He has, in any case, the qualities needed to assert himself at the highest level."

If his website is correct, Nasri joins five other French players on the Arsenal first team and is a likely replacement for fellow Frenchman Matthieu Flamini, who recently left for AC Milan, or Belarus star Alexander Hleb, who appears to be headed to Barcelona.

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