Manchester City were named as surprise suitors for soon-to-be free agent right-back Bacary Sagna.
The Frenchman has been rumoured to be close to signing a new deal with Arsenal, but player and club have appeared close before only to take a step back.
Perhaps The Star's report City are interested should not come as a shock, they have bought Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Adebayor from the Gunners in recent years, and the chance to add a French international for free would be a shrewd move.
But with fan favourite Pablo Zabaleta locking down the position in the City side, does Manuel Pellegrini need to add a senior right-back as talented as Sagna to the squad?
We have taken a look at Opta's 2013/14 stats in key areas for the two defenders to take a look how the two players compare.
Assists and key passes
|Player||Team||Goal Assist||Key passes||Apps||Mins|
|Pablo Zabaleta||Man City||5||16||19||1,639|
|Player||Team||Total Cross||Accurate Cross||Completion percentage||Mins|
|Pablo Zabaleta||Man City||46||4||8.7%||1,639|
|Player||Team||Pos||Total Tackle||Won Tackle||Success rate|
|Pablo Zabaleta||Man City||DF||66||51||77.8%|
|Player||Team||Interception Won||Interceptions In Box|
|Pablo Zabaleta||Man City||25||2|
Clearances, Shots blocked and aerial duels won
|Player||Team||Effective Clearance||Clearance Off Line||Shots blocked||Aerial duels won|
|Pablo Zabaleta||Man City||41||0||5||23|
|Player||Team||Pos||Touches||Accurate Pass||Pass completion Rate||Successful Final Third Passes|
|Pablo Zabaleta||Man City||DF||1,215||681||85.02%||239|
|Player||Team||Pos||Goals||Total Scoring Att||Ontarget Scoring Att|
|Pablo Zabaleta||Man City||DF||0||9||0|
The two players are very evenly matched, as seen by just how close they are in several areas such as their pass completion rate. Yet there are attributes in which Sagna is clearly out in front, his presence in the air, efforts on goal, clearances, and number of passes.
It is only really the number of assists where Zabaleta stands out, but his four more assists from just three more key passes than Sagna likely reveals as much about City's strikeforce being more lethal than Arsenal's.
Sagna would be an excellent addition to City, even if he is one year older than the 29-year-old Zabaleta, he would not only strengthen their options, but on a free he would destabilise one of their rivals heading into next season.