Sagna wants bumper contract reward, but Chelsea & Manchester City stars are on similar deals & stats, meaning Arsenal would not get value for money.
Bacary Sagna's future remains uncertain.
The Frenchman's Arsenal deal expires in June and, if speculative reports from the past nine months are to be believed, he is not short of admirers with AS Monaco, Paris Saint Germain (both The Sun) and Galatasaray (Daily Mail) all interested in securing the free transfer of the 31-year-old this summer.
Sagna has thrice rejected overtures from the upper brass at N5 to commit to a new contract as he, say The Mirror, is holding firm on a three year deal worth a reported £100,000 per week.
Such an amount still pales in comparison to the weekly earnings of Mesut Ozil (140k), but would see him far surpass the figure Theo Walcott pockets (70k), Per Mertesacker (60k) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (50k).
It would also see him almost double that of his right back rivals such as Pablo Zabaleta (65k) at Manchester City, Branislav Ivanovic (60k) at Chelsea and is four times what Seamus Coleman receives at Everton (25k).
As demonstrated from the data above (figures on a per game average), Sagna is not 154% more effective than Zabaleta, 167% more effective than Ivanovic or 400% more effective than Coleman to warrant such a substantial increase in his earning power.
One only has to look at the new £300,000 per week contract that Wayne Rooney now enjoys to see a further punctuation mark in the bias shown toward strikers and forwards when it comes to contractual negotiations, yet there has been an argument five years in the making that there should be financial parity further back on the pitch, starting in defence.
Yes, players like Rooney either provide the assists or net the goals that win games, but defences that contain players like Gary Cahill and John Terry, or Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker or formerly, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, keep cumulative sheets clean that can help win titles.
The full back position may be overlooked, yet as professorial tactics writer Jonathon Wilson argued five years ago, they are one of the most important roles on the field, providing a direct link between defence and attack. And, for a side who play like Arsenal, that link is crucial.
Arsene Wenger echoed Wilson's analysis two years later, even using the same Brazil comparison of how significant players like Roberto Carlos, Cafu, Carlos Alberto and Jorginho were, historically.
'Having a full-back who creates is an important part of winning,' he is quoted by the club's official website to have said. 'Take the Brazilian national team, the ones who have won trophies anyway, you will see that there is always two good full-backs. With two average full-backs they would not have won. But they had Carlos Alberto and Roberto Carlos, Jorginho and Cafu.'
The only real winger Arsenal possess is Theo Walcott, so the width provided by full backs at the Emirates Stadium is crucial.
'I believe that full backs have a pivotal role in our team,' Cazorla said earlier this season. 'We don’t have pure wingers.'
This season, Nacho Monreal and Sagna have demonstrated numerous times how important their role is, particularly against Cardiff City in January, where the club's best attacks originated from the full backs.
Gibbs, though, has an estimated salary of £40,000 per week, Nacho Monreal gets £50,000 a week while Carl Jenkinson is on just £20,000.
Sagna's loyalty as well as his elite-level of play warrants new terms, yet it would set a worrying trend for the Arsenal accountants when the aforementioned three Gunners full back start knocking on Wenger's doors all wanting parity.
When it comes to defensive contributions (tackle, block, clearance and interception), Ivanovic stands alone with 222 for the season to date, Sagna has made 188, Zabaleta is on 180 while Coleman has 166.
However, factoring in a speculated £100,000 per week salary for Sagna and, for argument's sake, if he had been on that amount since the current season began 28 weeks ago, then he would, pound-for-pound, represent the worst value for money out of all four right backs.
Arsenal effectively would have paid Sagna £14,893 for each defensive action, City paid £10,111 to Zabaleta for every defensive contribution, Ivanovic was worth £7,567 for each of his, while Coleman represented the best value for money at £4,216 per action.
It is easy to presume the Gunners would be losing a potential transfer fee if Sagna were to leave for free, yet they would be saving £15,600,000 (the prospective £100k over three years) - however, this figure is not adequate enough to purchase an elite-level performer.
Arsenal would be wise to keep a hold of Sagna, but considering the salaries of the Arsenal full backs and those received by three of the best right backs in the division, the player himself must be prepared to come down from his desired - exorbitant - income.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald