Bacary Sagna has confirmed he will leave Arsenal this summer after revealing final contract negotiations with the club have “not gone as I wished” with his current deal set to expire at the end of next month.
Sagna joined the Gunners in 2007 and has enjoyed one of his best seasons in the red and white of Arsenal, culminating in the French defender winning his first piece of silverware with the club in the FA Cup success at Wembley earlier this month.
But despite the clear intention from manager Arsene Wenger that he did not want the defender to leave, Sagna has finally confirmed that he will not be staying with the north London side, and looks to be edging towards a move to Premier League champions Manchester City. A reported £120,000-a-week offer from City is on the table for Sagna, and it seems likely that he will join Manuel Pellegrini’s side when he returns from the World Cup.
“It’s no longer a secret, I will leave Arsenal for sure,” he told L’Equipe. “They [Arsenal] tried to make an effort but the discussions have not gone as I wished.”
The 10 best free agents on the market this summer
The 10 best free agents on the market this summer
1/8 Guillermo Ochoa
The Mexican goalkeeper rose to fame thanks to his brilliant performance against Brazil in the World Cup. The 28-year-old, who left Ajaccio at the end of the season, has been linked with a move to the Premier League.
2/8 Rio Ferdinand
Both halves of Manchester United’s famous central defence for the past eight years are leaving this summer. Nemanja Vidic is off to Italy to play for Internazionale while Rio Ferdinand was told at the weekend that United would not be renewing his contract. Ferdinand said last week that if United did not offer him a new deal that he would be “open to offers” but joked that he “would not go below the Conference”. That is unlikely to be an issue as there should be no shortage of clubs looking for a defender of his experience. Queen’s Park Rangers, should they come up, are managed by Ferdinand’s old mentor Harry Redknapp, while even bigger teams like Arsenal could be tempted.
3/8 Diego Lugano
The Uruguay captain hit the headlines in Brazil for the wrong reasons as his complete denial that team-mate Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini when everyone else could see it. His contract with West Brom is up for renewal, but the 33-year-old is unlikely to remain in the Premier League.
4/8 Nicolas Anelka
Sacked by West Brom last season for his controversial 'Quenelle' gesture, Anelka has not yet confirmed whether he will sign for a new club - should anyone want him - or announce his retirement.
5/8 Frank Lampard
As with Terry and Cole, Lampard’s Chelsea deal expires at the end of the season and he is likely to follow Terry in signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge. Lampard is not the dynamic presence in midfield that he once was, and he started only 20 Premier League games this season. But as his inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad demonstrated, his experience and presence are invaluable and he is more than worth having around. That said, if he does not renew at Chelsea, there would surely be offers from abroad, not least from long-time suitors LA Galaxy.
6/8 Marouane Chamakh
The Moroccan striker has completed a one-year deal at Crystal Palace that could barely have gone much better. Since he was entrusted with a role as a withdrawn striker by Tony Pulis in December, he has been excellent, scoring five goals and helping to drag Palace out of the relegation zone and into safety. Chamakh will be discussing his future with the club soon but he said last week that agreeing a new deal at Palace was his “priority”, after building an excellent rapport with the fans and playing his best football since his arrival in England from France in 2010. If not, he would like to stay in the Premier League.
7/8 Samuel Eto'o
The striker did not cover himself in glory at the 2014 World Cup, as Cameroon's campaign was blighted by a money row over bonuses and poor performances in Brazil that saw them eliminated at the group stages. However, the Champions League winner will still have a number of clubs interested in his services, with Arsenal being linked in recent weeks.
8/8 Nicklas Bendtner
Despite a fairly successful season by his standards, Nicklas Bendtner is on his way out of Arsenal. The Dane has scored twice this year, in wins over Hull and Cardiff, but he fell behind Yaya Sanogo in the pecking order while not always conducting himself immaculately off the pitch. He turned down moves away from Arsenal last summer that would have meant pay cuts but this summer he must be hopeful of maximising his value as a free agent.
Having been linked with an exit since entering the final year of his contract, Sagna also admitted that the FA Cup final triumph over Hull was the last time he would feature in the Arsenal shirt, and stressed that his next destination will be finalised before France’s campaign at the World Cup gets underway on 15 June.
“There is no ideal end but it was a dream to finish like that, at Wembley, with the cup,” Sagna, 31, added.
“It was an honour to wear the shirt.”
When quizzed where he will move to, Sagna answered: “I’ll fix that before the start of the World Cup”.
Sagna is likely to feature in France’s two World Cup warm-up matches against Paraguay on Sunday and Jamaica the following week, and will hope that their campaign in Brazil will be a much improved showing than their experience in South Africa in 2010, when defeat to the hosts in the group stages was followed by mass internal conflict and an embarrassing early exit.