Samir Nasri is a target for Western United.
Samir Nasri is a target for Western United.

United target fiery Frenchman for marquee role

A controversial English Premier League title winner is on the marquee radar of A-League newcomers Western United.

United coach Mark Rudan and football chiefs are intent on adding a big-name marquee to their inaugural squad, alongside former Greece international Panagiotis Kone.

Samir Nasri, who played for Premier League club West Ham last season, is subject to a host of overseas offers but is understood to be keen on moving to Australia.

The Marseille youth product is said to have impressed Western United chiefs with his knowledge of the A-League.

However, Western United will be unable to get the deal over the line without Football Federation Australia dipping into its marquee kitty, which helped lure Keisuke Honda to Melbourne Victory last season.

Bayern Munich legend Franck Ribery was the most recent player targeted, but it's believed that like former AC Milan attacker Alexandre Pato, he was well beyond their budget.

Nasri's demands appear more realistic, although it will still take an offer of more than $4 million to land the former France international, who is open to a fresh challenge amid interest from Crystal Palace.

The versatile attacker has been a polarising figure throughout his illustrious career, which included an acrimonious exit from Arsenal to Man City and a foul-mouthed tirade at French journalists at Euro 2012, before retiring from 'Les Bleus' in 2014 after five goals in 41 games.

 

Nasri, 31, appears to have plenty to offer on the field and featured six times for West Ham in 2019 after returning from a doping ban.

He would undoubtedly be one of the highest profile marquee players to sign in the A-League, a list which includes Alessandro Del Piero, Juninho, Dwight Yorke, Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill and Honda.

Nasri's signing would be an on-field signal of intent as Western United as they compete with Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City for local bragging rights.

United on Monday announced the signing of left-sided defender Ivan Vujica from Newcastle Jets.

"Ivan is an integral element for our defence. He is a pure left footer, and has great quality and athleticism that we were looking for. He'll certainly strengthen the left side of our playing system,'' Rudan said.

"Ivan is also a quality young man off the pitch. I've monitored him over many years and have been nothing but impressed with his skill and values."