Arsenal wise to cash in on Fabregas and Nasri - Dixon

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport

Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon believes the Gunners will be wise to recoup a possible £58m for wantaway players Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

The pair are set to leave the Gunners, leaving boss Arsene Wenger until the end of August to buy in replacements.

And though Dixon thinks they will leave a hole in midfield, any funds may also allow them to bolster the defence.

"You're better off getting £60m for two players who don't want to stay and spending the money wisely," he said.

"There is no doubt they are top quality players and they will be missed, but it is important that supporters and everyone at the club remembers that the cannon on the chest is more important than anybody."

Arsenal captain Fabregas has been linked with Barcelona for the last two seasons and is set to join the European champions for about £35m after the clubs finally agreed a fee.

Nasri is on the verge of joining Manchester City for between £22m and £24m as he enters the last year of his current contract.

If both move, it would rip the heart out of Arsenal's midfield, and Wenger has already said that it would be difficult to "convince people you are ambitious" after that.

But Dixon believes the French boss will still have faith in the players remaining to achieve success this season.

"The softening of the blow is the rapid emergence of Jack Wilshere, who is already a regular England international over a short period of time, and the fitness of Aaron Ramsey, so they have two young players who can step up and be as equally effective as Fabregas and Nasri," Dixon told BBC Sport.

"But there is still a hole in midfield that needs to be filled with a bit of experience, maybe with somebody like Manchester City's Nigel de Jong, although I don't think they can get him because of his wages.

"Arsenal certainly need to sign a centre-half and I'm sure the selling clubs of Gary Cahill [Bolton], Phil Jagielka [Everton] and Chris Samba [Blackburn] will all be waiting for the phone to ring."

Arsenal have already lost left-back Gael Clichy to Manchester City and midfielder Denilson has gone on a season-long loan to Brazilian club Sao Paulo.

But they have signed Gervinho from Lille plus Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton, and Dixon believes any further activity can help provide a fresh start for the club.

"There will be a lot of people relieved the Fabregas transfer is over and we won't have to keep speculating. It is certainly one that you might look at and say very rarely does a deal happen where all three parties are more or less happy," Dixon added.

"Of course Wenger won't be happy he is losing him, but they are getting a good price for him. From that point of view, the fans will probably will be sympathetic and understand why he is moving and reflect they have had a lot of good years from him.

"They will be angrier with the Nasri move because he is moving to rivals for the Premier League title. He had a great start to last season and flourished when Fabregas was not there, but all of a sudden he has decided the grass is greener.

"It's ludicrous to allow his contract to run out and get nothing for him next year, so I don't think Wenger had any option. He didn't sell Fabregas or Nasri, they basically forced the moves themselves."