French midfielder Samir Nasri has joined La Liga side Sevilla from Manchester City on a season-long loan deal, both sides confirmed on Wednesday.
Nasri scored 27 goals and won two Premier League titles in five years in Manchester, but after an injury-plagued 2015/16 season, new City boss Pep Guardiola had criticised his condition when he returned to pre-season overweight.
“The attacker arrives on loan from Manchester City until June 30 2017 without an option to buy,” Sevilla said in a statement.
Nasri tweeted expressing gratitude about his time at Manchester City.
@ManCity it's been a pleassure thanks to everyone in the club and the fans for the 5 amazing years and wish you best of luck for the season— Samir Nasri Official (@SamNasri19) August 31, 2016
After making a strong impression as a substitute for the last 15 minutes of City’s 3-1 win over West Ham on Sunday, Guardiola even opened the door for Nasri to stay and fight for his place at the Etihad.
“Samir arrived overweight but after seven days, 10 days, it was fantastic how he trained. His quality is on another level,” said Guardiola.
“It depends on him. If he wants to help us and stay to be part of something, it depends on him.”
However, Nasri faced stiff competition from the likes of David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and new signings Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus for a place in Guardiola’s new-look side.
Instead, the 29-year-old has opted to try and relaunch his career in Spain with Europa League winners Sevilla also offering the lure of Champions League football.
Nasri becomes Sevilla’s 11th signing of the window with the huge turnover sparked by coach Unai Emery’s departure to Paris Saint-German with the notoriously attack-minded Argentine Jorge Sampaoli now in charge at the Sanchez Pizjuan.
“This is the last piece that the coach asked from us,” said Sevilla sporting director Monchi.
“We have found the player we have been looking for practically since the market opened.
“A player who can play as a false winger and inside, a player with quality, capable of maintaining the ball and generating important possession in the opponent’s half.”
Sevilla lost in both the Spanish and European Super Cups to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, but have started the La Liga season under Sampaoli brightly with four points from their opening two games.