We were all expecting it, Arsenal fans, and now the 90 percent certainty of Bacary Sagna has turned into a 100 percent definite decision that he will not be playing for Arsenal next season. And it looks like he will be making the same trip as former gunners Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Emmanuel Adebayor and heading to moneybags Man City.
Bacary Sagna is still an Arsenal player, at least for now anyway. The 31-year old has moved to squash the rumours, widely reported in the English media, that he has already come to terms with Premier League champions Man City, although he does not deny that they are among the clubs he has been in contact with.
The France international is currently with Arsenal team mates Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud, getting ready for the World Cup with their first pre-tournament friendly coming up against Norway tomorrow. He has been speaking to the French media about his club situation, as reported by ESPN, and saying some very nice things about Arsenal and his time at the club so far.
It is never nice to see one of your better and well loved players joining a direct rival, and Arsenal fans have had to cope with it on a much too regular basis in recent years. So the news that our French international defender Bacary Sagna was moving to Premier League champions Man City was not good news for Gooners.
Even though Arsenal Football Club has emerged from the other side of the financial tunnel caused by the financing of the Emirates stadium, it seems that the Gunners are still playing in a lower league to some other clubs. And despite the recent sanctions imposed on them by UEFA for breaking the FFP rules, Man City have just proved again that Arsenal cannot really compete in the transfer market.
The Gunners have had to see another of our players join City, and looking at the money involved in the deal reported by the Daily Mail, you cannot blame Bacary Sagna for choosing to change north London for Manchester. The France international has apparently signed a three year deal worth around £150,000 a week, which adds up to around £23 million.
Both on the Wembley pitch after Arsenal had completed their remarkable comeback after going two goals down to Hull City, and during the bus parade through north London the following day, the Arsenal fans left Bacary Sagna in no doubt how much we want him to sign a new contract and stay at the Emirates.
It had seemed, as the the season drew to a close, that the France international had already made up his mind and it was just a matter of which club he would play for next. But after years of waiting, the defender has finally won a trophy with Arsenal and the emotion of it all clearly got to him.
It could turn out to be a good thing that Arsenal did not spend all the money available last summer. And we Arsenal fans might soon be thanking Arsene Wenger for keeping his wallet tightly closed in the January transfer window. That is because, even if he does decide to force his way out of Man City, Yaya Toure will not come cheap.
There is a very interesting Arsenal rumour this morning from the respected English newspaper The Guardian, that states that Arsene Wenger is set to take advantage of James Milner’s unhappy status at moneybags Manchester City. The midfielder is unhappy at being forced to play in wide positions for City and is looking for a club that wlll allow him to play in a more central role as he was promised when he signed for the moneybags club.
With one year left on his contract, City will no choice but to sell the England international or lose him for free next summer.
There is still a chance that Arsenal will still have Bacary Sagna playing at right back when next season kicks off in August, but it is unlikely. An FA cup trophy and all the celebrations that come with it might help, and the French international may not get the bumper offer he was hoping for, especially if Man City have to pull in their belt to avoid further FFP sanctions.
Many people, including me, thought that this season offered Arsenal a unique opportunity. With Man City, Chelsea and United all going through changes of varying degrees of magnitude, and the Gunners finally coming out of the tunnel that paying off the Emirates stadium had plunged us into, Arsenal had a golden chance to capitalise.
As we know, that did not happen, although I still think it would have with a bit less bad luck on the injury front. And as it turned out, the team with the most money squeaked over the line. Arsene Wenger alluded to their squad depth being the key factor and normally you would think that the Gunners would rue a missed chance.
Alan Smith scored 87 goals in his eight years with Arsenal and won numerous trophies including The Double and the European Cup-Winners Cup with the Gunners, so he has earned the right to have an opinion about our beloved club now and again.
Well today he suggests that Arsene Wenger is making a big mistake by not matching Bacary Sagna’s wage demands and perhaps allowing him to join one of our title rivals on a free transfer.
He said on TalkSport Radio: “Sagna is the type of player you can ill afford to lose,”
If Arsenal do win the battle to snap up Jason Eyenga-Lokilo, it will be a significant coup for the Gunners. It will also be another ringing endorsement of the Arsenal youth system and the reputation that Arsene Wenger has for bringing on and developing promising young players.
This is because the highly rated 15-year old has, according to a Talksport report, attracted the interest of a number of big clubs like the French champions PSG, as well as Man City, Liverpool and Aston Villa from the English Premier League. The Birmingham club have apparently already made two offers to the youngsters current club Anderlecht, whose academy recently produced Man United’s new star Adnan Januzaj.
Arsene Wenger is aiming to beat Norwich in the last game of the season so that Arsenal will finish on 79 points, and within a maximum 7 points of the Champions, whoever wins it.
This year has been ultra-competitive and he feels that Liverpool and Man City deserve it because of the amount of goals they scored – but Arsenal were still in contention for most of the campaign.
Wenger said on Arsenal.com: “If you look at the teams who are out of the top four you realise how difficult it is to be in there,”