Manchester City's attempt to recruit Samir Nasri has stalled over demands from the player's agents for a commission.
Nasri's move to City stalls
Having informally agreed on wages with the player last month and come to terms with Arsenal over their asking price of just under £22m, City still will continue to attempt to complete the transfer before the end of the window.
That assurance may yet be tested by Nasri's own feelings about the transfer. His representatives, Alain Migliaccio and Jean-Pierre Bernes, held extensive conversations with Manchester United about Nasri moving to Old Trafford before accepting City's superior contract offer.
According to multiple sources, Nasri is now regretting his decision to place salary over status and has been attempting to rekindle United's interest in him.
United, however, terminated their interest in Nasri last month when they were informed that their offer of one of the richest contracts in the club's history had been declined.
Having subsequently ended their pursuit of Wesley Sneijder, the Inter Milan midfielder, to concentrate on developing talents in their squad, there is no indication that United would consider posting a counter offer for Nasri. Instead, City hope to resolve the dispute with Bernes and Migliaccio, who intend to split the commission between themselves and Nasri's father, Hamid.
With 10 days of the summer transfer window remaining and Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke already taking the decision to exploit the player's transfer value before he runs his contract down, the club are in a strong position.
The same cannot be said of Arsene Wenger, whose lack of recruitment continued as he failed in an attempt to sign Argentina international Lucho Gonzalez as a short-term replacement for Cesc Fabregas.
Lucho, one of the best-paid players at Marseille, wants to leave the club following a burglary at his family home, and the French club are prepared to sell him for around £7 million (Dh42m).
Wenger, however, is solely interested in taking the powerful 30-year-old midfielder on loan, a proposal that Marseille refuse even to consider.
"I spoke to Arsene Wenger and the only player who interests him is Lucho," said Marseille coach Didier Deschamps.
"He only wants to take him on loan because of his recruitment policy, which is about investment in young players. A loan is not something we can consider. In this case, there are no negotiations, and I don't know if he's going to put aside his recruitment policy."
Under pressure from both Arsenal supporters and the club's ownership to spend on reinforcements, Wenger has so far devoted the majority of his recruitment budget to teenagers.
Up to £14m has been committed to pay Southampton for 17-year-old winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with further amounts spent on the surprise signings of Charlton defender Carl Jenkinson and Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell.