Arsene Wenger cut a frustrated figure when admitting in recent days that Bacary Sagna’s Arsenal future is in serious doubt, with reports linking the Gunners to Toulouse youngster Serge Aurier as his replacement at right-back.
Arsenal are warm 1/4 favourites to overcome Hull in the FA Cup final and lift their first trophy for nine years, but it looks ever more likely that Sagna will leave the club, having made over 200 Premier League appearances since signing from Auxerre in 2007, following the Wembley clash.
The 31-year-old has stated that he does not think he will be a fixture at the Emirates next term, following protracted contract negotiations and his current gaffer has given the clearest indication yet that he is resigned to losing Sagna this summer.
When asked about the full-back and fellow French defender Laurent Koscienly’s futures, Wenger replied:
“It’s (Koscielny) close to be closed. That (Sagna) is not close to be closed.
I will have to accept it because only he can decide that now. If he goes we will accept it, we will accept it and respond.”
Sagna will be available on a free transfer, with Manchester City, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco all reportedly ready to make him bumper contract offers and Wenger is thought to be closing in on 21-year-old Ligue 1 star Aurier, with a bid expected at the start of the summer.
The TFC man has already made seven appearances for his native Ivory Coast and will feature prominently for the Elephants at the World Cup, with Didier Drogba and co currently priced up at evens to qualify from a Group C that also contains Colombia, Greece and Japan.
Aurier came through the youth system at Lens – where his brother Christopher still plays – before his move to the Stadium Municipal in summer 2012.
He has made 70 Ligue 1 appearances for Toulouse since, scoring seven goals – with six of them coming this season – and has laid on a further nine for teammates in his two terms so far at the club.