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Antalyaspor swoop for Manchester City’s Samir Nasri

ISTANBUL

Former French international midfielder Samir Nasri on Monday signed a two year deal to join Turkish top flight side Antalyaspor from Manchester City, the club said.

Nasri, who spent last season on loan at Sevilla, appeared unlikely to figure in Pep Guardiola’s plans this season with Manchester City keen to offload him and rejuvenate their own-line up.

“After talks with Samir Nasri and the club, a two year deal has been signed,” Antalyaspor said in a brief statement headlined “Welcome Samir Nasri” without disclosing financial details.

Manchester City confirmed the departure of the player, writing on Twitter that his six year stay at the club had come to an end, adding: “thank you for some brilliant memories, Samir Nasri!”

Nasri had arrived in the Turkish Mediterranean resort city on Sunday where he was mobbed by fans before leaving the airport and had to be escorted out by Turkish security forces.

Club sources said that an official ceremony to introduce the player was expected on Tuesday.

Nasri, 30, will earn an annual salary of four million euros ($4.7 million) plus bonuses at the club, Turkish news reports have said.

Nasri joined Manchester City in 2011 after three seasons at Arsenal, emerging as one of their key players and winning the Premier League title in the 2011/2012 and 2013/2014 seasons.

But he then fell out of favour after injury, with Guardiola showing little interest in the player. He has since also bowed out of international football.

Guardiola had been expected to offload Nasri this summer although he did take the volatile Frenchman on a pre-season trip to the United States.

Antalyaspor are one of Turkey’s most ambitious sides, despite only winning promotion to the Super Lig in 2015, and want to break the league domination of the Istanbul giants.

They were disappointed to finish the 2015-16 season in ninth place but improved to fifth place last term, just missing out on a spot in the Europa League.

Antalyaspor’s key player over the past couple seasons has been former Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto’o, who remains at the club despite persistent rumours he is unsettled.

This summer the team also signed France international and former Roma and AC Milan playmaker Jeremy Menez from Bordeaux.

Antalyaspor got off to a slow start to the season, losing 2-0 away to champions Besiktas and then drawing 2-2 to Akhisarspor on Sunday with both Nasri and Menez watching from the stands.

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