With French international right-back Sagna set to leave the Emirates, one of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s priorities this summer is to find a top-rated replacement.
And, according to The Mirror, Wegner has his eye on little-known Schalke right-back Atsuto Uchida. The Japanese international joined the Bundesliga side in the summer of 2010, making a €5m move from Kashima Antlers, who are based in his native Japan.
The 26-year-old has gone on to make more than 100 appearances for the club in all competitions, gaining valuable experience in both the Champions League and on the international scene.
This season, Uchida has made 17 Bundesliga starts for Schalke, impressing defensively as he made a total of 43 tackles and 34 interceptions – a higher average than Sagna per match.
One area where the current Arsenal right-back tops the Japanese star, however, is from an attacking perspective - with Uchida attempting just 25 crosses all season – 98 less than the departing Sagna.
Wenger is said to have sent scouts to check out the Schalke defender, although the Arsenal manager's men will already be aware of Uchida as a teammate of Julian Draxler, another Arsenal target the club is thought to have been watching for some time..
According to transfermarkt.com, Uchida’s contract runs out in the summer of 2015. With a reported price tag of €6m, the Japanese right back appears to be just the kind of value-for-money player Wenger is likely to go in for.