As if enough Arsenal players haven’t already made the switch to Manchester City in recent years, it now seems City are interested in another Arsenal player. Right-back Bacary Sagna will be a free agent in the summer and current rumors suggest that City are keen on the Frenchman as backup to Pablo Zabaleta, which would allow more rest for the Argentine than he has received this season.
Would it be a good move for City? Would it be a good move for Sagna? Well, firstly, it would be a bad move for Arsenal. Arsenal are obviously doing their utmost to make Sagna stay, but to adhere to their current pay structure, they have a limit to what they can offer players over 30 years of age.
Sagna, it would seem, would prefer to stay in the Premier League rather than move abroad, and you would presume a move to City would be appealing to him. Better wages than what Arsenal will offer would be on the table, as well as a better chance of winning trophies. Also, it’d be a chance to join his former teammates Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy.
At 31, it may also be a time when Sagna is more amenable to rotating with another player, rather than insisting on playing every single week. Although only he will know that, of course, you can see why the move could be appealing.
For City, it would make perfect sense. Zabaleta is one of the best right-backs in the world right now. This season, Micah Richards has been injured far too often, which has meant that Zabaleta has played far more than City would have liked. Signing Sagna would allow City to rotate that position far more freely. Plus, City would make a profit from the whole deal as Sagna would join on a free transfer and Richards, presumably, would leave for a fee.
The only loser in this possible deal would be Arsenal. It’s baffling how the club still allows their players to run their contracts down to the final year so often. Robin Van Persie, Samir Nasri and Theo Walcott all have been allowed to run their contracts down to the final year in recent seasons — it’s just far too risky.
At that point, they’re putting the power into the players hands, which is why Van Persie and Nasri are not at the club anymore. They had the power to choose, and ultimately their choice was to leave the club. With two years remaining, Arsenal should be making a decision on a player — either offer a new contract or try to sell early to recoup the highest fee. It’s not that complicated.
But that’s not what Arsenal do, and because of that, it looks like another first-team player could well decide to walk away this summer. City will be happy enough if it happens, and once again, Arsenal will have done a fine job at strengthening a rival. They’re getting good at that.