Patrick Vieira has hinted that Samir Nasri’s future remains at Manchester City after labelling him an “important player” to Roberto Mancini.
By his own admission, Nasri’s progress this season has been hampered by injury, but the France international midfielder looked back to his best during last month’s FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea.
Nasri was on target in the 2-1 victory over FA Cup holders Chelsea at Wembley and has also impressed in the Premier League in recent weeks.
There has been speculation linking Nasri with a move away from Manchester City but Vieira, the club’s football development executive, hopes his fellow countryman stays at Eastlands.
“Samir could do much more,” said the Vieira in the Manchester Evening News.
“On a personal level, he is very disappointed with the level he reached this season, for various reasons.
“But he remains an important player in our squad and has learned a lot from this past year.
“This season has been very important to him and he will be much stronger next year.
“I hope he stays, even if he had a difficult season.
“When Samir is at the top, when it is good as it has been lately, he is one of the best players in his position in Europe.”
The 2013-14 season is already shaping up to be an important one for Nasri as he bids to force his way back in the France national team ahead of the World Cup in Brazil.
“What is most important is that Samir finds his form – he is an important player for City and for France,” added Vieira.
“He still wants to play for his country, and all great players want to go to the Euros and the World Cup.”