Arsene Wenger has revealed Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Rosicky will remain at the club beyond the end of the season after his fine performances earned him a 12-month extension to his current deal, which will be triggered at the end of this campaign.
As reported by Sami Mokbel from the Daily Mail, the Frenchman eulogised over his experienced player, saying:
Tomas Rosicky will stay. We have an agreement with him and it will come out soon. I am absolutely adamant he has to stay at the club. I think he is one of the players who play the game of give and move. He is a great accelerator of the game. When the ball comes to him it goes into second gear and that is something I admire in him.
He always makes things happen, not with individual dribbling but with individual acceleration of his passing and of his runs. I think when he arrived here he was a less tactical player and more like Mozart, who is also from Prague, he was a purely creative and offensive player.
Today he is a real organiser on the pitch as well. I like to have him in the team because he gives a real structure to our team.
There is less positive news for the Gunners on the future of France right-back Bacary Sagna. David Woods of the Daily Star reports the player has garnered significant interest from Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, with his current deal expiring in the summer.
Woods quotes a source saying:
He will leave 100 per cent for sure unless Arsenal wake up in the next couple of months and offer him new good terms. It would have to be in the region of £6m a season on a three to four year contract, plus a signing-on fee of around £6m. He wants to finish his career at Arsenal as long as the board give him the right deal.
Sports journalist Fabrizio Romano has also claimed Liverpool are tracking the player and tweeted that the Merseyside club have already made their move for Sagna:
It is no surprise Arsenal have made their move to secure Rosicky. The player has shown his importance with regularity this season, but their inability to secure the services of Sagna reflects the difficulties they have previously had when trying to tie down key players.
Sagna has played in 24 league matches this season, and he has only been absent on four occasions, per Squawka. His loss would be damaging to the North London club with a replacement costing a significant sum.
Will Bacary Sagna leave Arsenal on a free transfer?
Wenger needs to get Sagna to commit to the club and not allow an "Ashley Cole situation" to manifest itself, when the former Gunners left-back could not agree a new contract and moved on to Chelsea.
Sagna's experience is vital to Arsenal. He is aware of the expectations of the club, and his performances have consistently shown he is one of the best right-backs in England.
Losing the player on a free transfer would be unacceptable and again would raise questions as to why Arsenal allow this situation to happen almost every year, when a major component of the squad runs down his deal and threatens to walk away. Robin van Persie's sale to Manchester United was a direct consequence of such a scenario.
If Arsenal wish to compete with the likes of City and Chelsea at the top of the league in the coming years, they need to make sure that their core is strong, and that players of Sagna's ability are fully retained.