A player being cup-tied is more than an inconvenience in some cases, and if Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini is to believed, a pending transfer of Sami Nasri from Arsenal could be canceled if he plays Wednesday against Udinese in the Champions League.
Such participation would cup-tie Nasri for the entire Champions League campaign and rule him ineligible to play in that competition for City, which has a guaranteed berth awaiting in the group stage. Since Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has not ruled out Nasri, deeming him a valuable asset to ensure the Gunners' advance at the expense of Udinese, Mancini has implied he could call off the deal.
"I wouldn't worry about that," Wenger said about a tug-of-war for Nasri's European eligibilty. "What is important to us is to qualify."
Mancini is clearly worried. He believes a deal can be concluded Monday or Tuesday, which would take Nasri off Arsenal's roster before the Udinese game. The transfer, reportedly valued at 25 million pounds ($41.27 million) has been in discussions for more than a month, and coming in the wake of a 2-0 home loss to Liverpool, the Udinese match falls during a critical time for Arsenal.