Bacary Sagna set to finalise talks over Manchester City move less than 48 hours after FA Cup victory
Sagna is out of contract this summer and is expected to move to City with reports of a £150,000-a-week offer on the table
Just a day after taking to the streets of Islington to celebrate Arsenal’s FA Cup final victory, Bacary Sagna is expected to arrive at Manchester City to push forward formal talks with the Premier League champions over a free transfer to the Etihad.
Sagna started the 3-2 victory after extra-time at Wembley on Saturday, and appeared to bring the curtain down on his seven-year Arsenal career with his first piece of silverware in the form of the FA Cup. Joining his team-mates in an open-top bus parade on Sunday, Sagna soaked up the jubilation of the thousands of Gunners’ supporters in attendance.
However, the Daily Mail is reporting that the Frenchman could finalise talks with City as early as Monday, with the 31-year-old out of contract this summer and free to move on to pastures new.
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Sagna, who will turn his focus to the World Cup in Brazil once the deal is done, could earn as much as £150,000-a-week at City, and joins a lengthening list of former Arsenal stars who have seeked a move to Manchester. His former colleagues Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor all moved to City following their big-money Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008 – although the latter two have since moved on – while ex-captain Robin van Persie now stars for Manchester United.
Should talks progress smoothly between the 31-year-old and the City hierarchy, a medical could even be completed on Monday, meaning that Sagna could go from Gunners’ FA Cup hero to City star-in-waiting in under 48 hours.
Manchester United were believed to have entered the battle for Sagna’s signature, although their failure to secure European football this season plus the ongoing uncertainty over the manager at Old Trafford – the expected announcement of Louis van Gaal is still to be confirmed – sees Sagna leaning towards the blue half of Manchester.
Fans made their feelings clear to Sagna at Sunday’s parade as they chanted “we want you to stay” as the France international waved to the crowd, but his rejection of Arsenal’s £80,000-a-week three-year offer consigns the club to losing one of their most reliable players.
Should Saturday prove to be Sagna’s final appearance in the red and white of Arsenal, he will leave having amassed 284 appearances for the club, scoring five goals in the process. His record of having played at least 20 league games each season since his 2007 move from Auxerre is all the more impressive considering he has suffered two broken legs during his time at the Emirates, and has developed a strong rapport with supporters over the years.
His exit will offer young England international Carl Jenkinson the chance to cement his place in the Arsenal starting XI, with many feeling the 22-year-old has shown signs this season that he can push on to replace Sagna after a difficult start to life at Arsenal. However, it has also been reported that Wenger could move in the summer for Ivory Coast and Toulouse right-back Serge Aurier, with a £7m offer being mentioned as the Gunners begin their recruitment drive.
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