Arsenal stalwart Bacary Sagna was part of the Gunners’ defence mauled by Chelsea last time out, but the French full-back could find himself lining up in a blue shirt when the fixture is contested next term.
Arsene Wenger is preparing for life without the 31-year-old, whose exorbitant contract demands mean he’s likely to be departing the Emirates this summer, with lorries loaded with cash from Stamford Bridge and Manchester City hurtling in the direction of his London abode.
Sagna is likely to take the field as Arsenal attempt to amend their derby dismantling by beating Swansea tonight, a feat they’re priced at a very reasonable 1/2 to achieve.
Inter Milan were believed to be the frontrunners for the signature of the 39-cap France international as their newly established transfer policy of exclusively signing Premier League veterans gathers pace.
The player wants to remain in the Champions League, though, as well as pocketing a six-figure weekly wage and £6m signing on fee; criteria the Italian giants cannot suffice.
Rumours are unconfirmed that the Frenchman will also require a brand new convertible, air purifiers fitted to the ventilation systems and fresh flowers in the dressing room from his next employers, but City and Chelsea are willing to comply regardless.
Manuel Pellegrini’s culling of the highly-paid City reserve team laced with England internationals will see understudy right-back Micah Richards axed and he views Sagna as the perfect candidate to compete with Pablo Zabaleta for the number two shirt.
The Blues, on the other hand, may look to move Branislav Ivanovic into the centre of defence if John Terry’s contract is not extended, leaving them light in the right-back department.
Sagna was one of the few Gunners who didn’t disgrace themselves in their 6-0 massacring at Chelsea and consistency is one thing his next club will receive in return for funding his retirement castle.
Averaging almost five clearances and two tackles per Premier League outing, he’s the sort of reliable figure either big-spender could turn to for top level performances in the absence of their first-choice full-backs.