Bacary Sagna has reportedly been offered a three-year deal to link up with Manchester City at the end of the season.
The Frenchman is out of contract in the summer, which means unless Arsenal can get him tied down to another contract to stay in North London, he could walk away without the club receiving a penny.
Should he take the contract on offer from City then he runs the risk of becoming the next Ashley Cole or Robin Van Persie, a consistent Arsenal player who sees his reputation evaporate with the club’s fans because of a decision to join a rival.
The issue which will be eating away at Arsenal fans is double edged.
Firstly, there will be serious questions of why the club just haven’t given into Sagna’s demands.
The Frenchman wants a pay increase and a long contract than Arsenal are willing to offer him, which is the main reason he’s knocked back the offers which have already come his way.
Secondly, fans will be disgruntled by the fact Sagna is playing hard ball and not seemingly willing to give a little bit in order to stay at the club.
Are his contract demands unreasonable? He’s currently 31-years-old and it’s understandable why he’d want a deal providing security for the rest of his career.
The problem lies with how the move to City will be perceived by fans that have always backed and supported Sagna.
It will look like he’s taking the cash and potential success over being loyal to his current employers.
Ashley Cole was blasted by Arsenal fans when he left for Chelsea for seemingly financial reasons, which created the term ‘Cashley’ whenever a Gunner now talks about their former player.
Van Persie is despised in by a small group of Arsenal fans because he left for the apparently guaranteed success of Manchester United at a time when Arsenal needed him to stay and lead the club.
Arsenal will be a better side over the next couple of years with Sagna than without him but if he stays in England and goes to a team that could hurt Arsenal’s chances of success, some fans will never forgive him for that.