Reports emerged this week that Manchester City have offered the France international a three-year contract with his current deal at the Emirates due to expire in June, less than three months away.
However, there are a few inconsistencies to the ‘story’ which I believe subtly hint at what is really playing out between the defender and his current club – I also think Manchester City have very little to do with the situation.
Firstly, the Citizens already have a fine right-back in Pablo Zabaleta – in fact the Argentine and his French counterpart at Arsenal are probably the two best right-backs in the Premier League. Why would Sagna be interested in going to risk playing back-up to Zabaleta is one question.
Another question is, if Sagna really wants to leave Arsenal after eight years at the club, why hasn’t he stated so in the way Robin van Persie did along with other defectors? Sagna has not said either way whether he intends to go or stay, as of yet and, as far as any official word from the club goes, the Gunners are still negotiating with his representatives.
That leads me logically to where this story may have come from – none of the mainstream press who have covered the story have an official quote from Sagna’s camp or from City on the matter.
In fact the only person to discuss the matter publicly this week is, of all people, Inter Milan president Erick Thohir who has admitted he is interested in the player. That’s it so far.
Meanwhile, the deal supposedly being offered by Manchester City is a three-year contract which is another big red flag in my estimation – Arsenal and Arsene Wenger’s policy on deals for players over 30 years of age is generally no more than two-year deals and, for the most part, rolling one-year contracts.
That’s just the club and the manager’s policy across the board. Incidentally, the player is understood to be fishing for a three-year deal with Arsenal if he intends to stay.
It’s almost as if someone is trying to frighten Arsenal into offering Sagna three-year deal worth enough per week in wages to ward off interest from the richest club in the world, despite the fact that said club has not publicly stated any interest in signing said player with just weeks remaining to solve the situation, from the club’s perspective.
Overall, it seems uncannily like the work of an agent currently locked into pressured negotiations with his client’s club knowing full well the player has the upper and knowing a rumour of this kind of departure could likely improve the offer on the table for his client drastically and rapidly. Oh, and, by the way, Arsenal host Manchester City this weekend at the Emirates. The timing is almost too good to be true.