Samir Nasri trains with West Ham in bid to earn £80,000-a-week deal

KEN DYER
Running man: Samir Nasri in action for Manchester City against West Ham in 2014: Getty Images

Samir Nasri trained for the first time with West Ham today as he looked to tie down a short-term deal with the Premier League club.

The 31-year-old former Arsenal and Manchester City star is still serving an 18-month ban for contravening World Anti-Doping Agency rules in 2016 and will not be eligible to resume his playing career until the beginning of January.

Nasri is however free to train with a club of his choice in the meantime but must prove his fitness before West Ham consider offering him a six-month deal.

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini remains an admirer of Nasri, after the two were together at Manchester City, where the former French international became an integral member of the City team which lifted the Premier League title in 2014.

While on loan to Spanish club Sevilla in 2016, the Marseille-born Nasri was given 500 millilitres of hydration, during a holiday in Los Angeles, in the form of sterile water containing micronutrients which exceeded the permissible limit set by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

He was subsequently banned for six months, increased to 18 months on appeal by UEFA’s ethics and disciplinary inspector. He most recently played for Turkish club Antalyaspor but his contract was cancelled in January this year.Despite Nasri’s recent enforced inactivity, Pellegrini remains keen to recruit the talented Frenchman, although he will need to be persuaded of the playmaker’s fitness, following such a long lay-off, before committing the club to a deal.

Should Nasri, who has been free to train with a club since the beginning of this month, convince those at West Ham that he has recovered his level of fitness by the end of the year, any deal looks certain to be structured heavily on appearances until the end of the season, when an option for a longer contract could be considered.

At the double: Nasri won the Premier League and league Cup under Pellegrini (Getty Images)

Nasri won 41 senior caps for France between 2007-13 and has made 215 Premier League appearances, for first Arsenal and then Manchester City.

He does face a major challenge though, to recover his fitness in the next six weeks, with West Ham planning an intense, bespoke training regime to help give him the best chance of being ready to be included in Pellegrini’s plans from January onwards.

West Ham have a space in their squad for such a signing and suffered a blow to their hopes recently, with the Achilles tendon injury to Andriy Yarmolenko which will keep the Ukranian out of action for the rest of the season.

Striker Andy Carroll meanwhile, was due to play in a behind-closed-doors practice match against Brentford today, as he edges nearer a first team return.

Carroll, whose career has been punctuated by a series of injuries, underwent an ankle operation in the summer but is back in full training and could even be in Pellegrini’s squad for the visit of Manchester City in nine days’ time.

Jack Wilshere is also back in training following an ankle problem but is unlikely to be considered for the match against the Premier League champions. He has not played since September 1.