Mid-Day Ticker: Man. City after Arsenal starters, La Masia closes and more

ClichyNasri (Getty Images)

Manchester City bested Arsenal in the Premier League table last season, and now it's going after two of the Gunners' starters.

Reports from England claim that City has "nearly" signed French left back Gael Clichy and is going hard after French midfielder Samir Nasri by offering £20 million for his services. Nasri, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2010-2011, has a year remaining on his contract and has been rumored to be coveted by City rival Manchester United.

Clichy and Nasri join Barcelona target Cesc Fabrgeas as key components of Arsenal's lineup that could be headed to the exit door at Emirates Stadium.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

LA MASIA MAKES WAY FOR NEW FACILITY

Barcelona's famed youth academy La Masia has closed while a new facility is being built to take its place.

La Masia has produced some of the greatest soccer talent in the world, including current Barcelona stars Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique along with former player and current coach Pep Guardiola.

The new academy, which reportedly cost $12.7 million to build, will open next month and will house 80 potential stars-in-the-making.

"We are switching to a residence that will be an example for the world due to the immense possibilities it will generate," La Masia director Carles Folguera told Reuters.

ENYEAMA SIGNS WITH LILLE

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has made his fair share of big saves on the international stage for Nigeria, and now he'll get to do the same on the UEFA Champions League stage for a French power.

Enyeama signed a three-year deal with French champion Lille, leaving Israeli side Hapoel Tel Aviv, where he played since 2007.

CANADA WOMEN ON BRINK OF ELIMINATION

The Canadian women's national team entered the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup with high expectations and aspirations. Barring a miracle, it won't make it past the group stage.

Canada was routed by France, 4-0, on Thursday, and if host Germany gets even a point from its next match against Nigeria, then Canada will go home empty-handed.

France is already through in Group A after securing six points, while Germany could join its European counterpart with six points with a victory. The two play in what looks to be a meaningless group finale in preparation for the knockout round, while Canada meets Nigeria in what appears to be a consolation game before heading home.

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Do you think Arsenal is in trouble heading into the upcoming season? How do you see Clichy and Nasri potentially fitting in at City? Do you see the New Masia producing just as much (or more) than the old Barcelona academy? Think Lille can repeat as French champion? Surprised that the Canadian women didn't fare better?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Man. City after Arsenal starters, La Masia closes and more

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    What are you doing to me, Ives? Talking up Giggs goal on twittter (and yes, it got OLD the moment it happened) and now news stories about dismantling the team. Is this “Pile on The Gunner Fans” Day?

  2. inkedAG says:

    I say this…anyone who wants to leave Arsenal…let them. Bunch of impatient contract hunters that couldn’t step up in big games.

    I know the old days are exactly that, but I want players who care about the Arsenal, not about their next pay day.

  3. Free says:

    Wow, about time, enyeama was one of the few if only, bright spot on that wc squad. Surprised he was not in Europe sooner. Hope he does well on a bigger club stage….

  4. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Well, in football Israel is considered part of Europe.

  5. Polish Wonder says:

    I have to agree with inkedAG.

    Players are sprinting to Barca and Man U and most end up crashing out or sitting the bench (Hleb comes to mind). I read he was trying to get back to Arsenal. Maybe a better youth program will encourage some loyalty because these guys would have come through the system, plus Wenger needs to give more of them a chance. Interesting how many former Gunners score against Arsenal.

    This is Nasri’s chance and he should embrace it. Clichy wasn’t half the pro when he joined Arsenal.

  6. Free says:

    In this context I was referring to geography. Don’t be “that” guy. There’s clearly a difference in playing for a top team in France’s 1st div vs Israel… if you’d rather split hairs, have at it.

  7. wilyboy says:

    I would never join Man City, and would never sell Nasri for 20 million. He’s been one of their few impressive players over the past two seasons. As for Man City, they have too many players already capable of starting in the league, and they don’t know what they’re trying for. If I wanted to 1) play and 2) play on a coherent team, wouldn’t go.

  8. Dave Hasse says:

    This is 1970′s style college football. Recruit everybody to prevent the other side from having players. It doesn’t matter to MC, for $35MM One of the big rivals, Arsenal, is toast.

  9. Brent McD says:

    Agreed. Should’ve sold Fabregas last year when his price was high. Clichy is no big loss. I would be sad to see Nasri go, however.

  10. jdavids says:

    caught the canada v france game today. never seen them play before. they are really bad . saw two women trip on the ball in the box amateur sunday league style. BAD. first two goals were defensive mistakes that make bornstein look like jaap staam.

  11. Paul Thomas says:

    Bit of a chicken/egg situation there, I’m afraid. People don’t spend money on women’s football because the players aren’t as good– but, a lot of the reason the players aren’t as good is that people don’t spend money on it. Spending 100% of your work time training and practicing makes a huge difference as compared to spending 20%.

    England, which has about 8 billion men’s soccer teams, JUST got around to starting a semi-pro women’s league like three years ago.

  12. sammysounder says:

    Clichy is unlikely to start next year and Cesc isnt what he was hyped to be. I think we will get a Ewing effect with him gone. Nasri would be a blow

  13. Rent-A-Player says:

    Yea!

    Silly contract hunters seeking higher wages and legit chances at winning silverware.

    What are they thinking leaving a club that doesn’t believe in spending what it takes to win league titles and retain talent/pay higher wages and has gone on a drought of 6 years of trophyless seasons.

    That’s ALL on the players and not the manager, manager’s defeatist attitude, woe-is-me demeanor & general routine whinning comments that are masks for excuses.

    Arsenal play some vintage football at times but what does it mean if they lack a spine (on the pitch and off)?

    Arsenal are soft and are rapidly being left behind the “Top 3″.

  14. Rent-A-Player says:

    You don’t have that option of “joining Man City” and even if you did, I’d imagine you definitely would.

    @Arsenal: Paid less + no chance at trophies.

    @City: Paid more + legit chances at trophies.

    ^^ I hate City too but who do you think you’re fooling with that Johnny DoGood act? Of course you’d join City.

    Fool.

  15. Hand of Dog says:

    “La Masia has produced some of the greatest soccer talent in the world, including current Barcelona stars Lionel Messi…”

    Wha?

    I’d debate Messi’s talent was hardly “produced” unless we’re giving credit to his parents and/or the Holy Father for his “production. That said, Barca bought him from Newell’s Old Boys where he was in their youth system.