LONDON (AFP) – Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas was ruled out of the club’s pre-season tour of Asia after suffering an injury but unsettled midfielder Samir Nasri was named in the squad released Saturday.
Fabregas, who is being strongly linked with a summer move to Barcelona, has sustained a muscle strain and will not travel with the Gunners 23-strong squad, who fly out to Malaysia on Sunday.
“Fabregas will not travel because he still has a small muscular problem. He will stay and practice here,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
Wenger insisted however that the club was taking the “strongest possible squad” to Asia, where Arsenal will play matches in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday and China on Saturday before returning to Europe.
The other notable absentee is defender Emmanuel Eboue, who is nursing a calf strain. But French midfielder Nasri, reportedly the target of interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, will travel.
After weeks of speculation about the futures of Fabregas and Nasri, Wenger has vowed to do everything in his power to persuade the duo to stay.
“Our position is always the same, we want to keep Cesc and I will fight as hard as I can to keep him,” Wenger said.
“Samir Nasri is exactly the same. We will do everything we can to keep him,” said Wenger.
Wenger has already seen defender Gael Clichy leave the club this week in a deal that took him to Manchester City.
Arsenal squad: Wojciech Szczesny, Vito Mannone, Sebastien Squillaci, Johan Djourou, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Laurent Koscielny, Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Ryo Miyaichi, Armand Traore, Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Theo Walcott, Alex Song, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Denilson, Aaron Ramsey, Emmanuel Frimpong, Samir Nasri, Carlos Vela, Robin van Persie