Arsenal Transfer News: Bacary Sagna Sparks Manchester City and Inter Battle

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Bacary Sagna of Arsenal arrives for the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park on October 26, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Bacary Sagna's uncertain future at the Emirates Stadium has placed Inter and Manchester City as frontrunners in the hunt for the right-back, who is out of contract at the end of this season.

However, it's the Citizens who might have an extra step on their Italian counterparts after the Daily Star's David Woods revealed Sagna had rejected a £9 million offer from the Nerazzurri.

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24:  FC Internazionale Milano New President Erick Thohir poses for a portrait session on February 24, 2014 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Inter president Erick Thohir was this week quoted by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Sky Sports) saying his side do hold an interest in French international Sagna:

"I'm not used to making announcements if there is not a signed contract. I can only say that we like Sagna and that at this point it all depends on him. If he does not arrive, we will take a younger right-back."

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Theo Walcott (L) and Bacary Sagna of Arsenal look on after the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal at Boleyn Ground on December 26, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Should City feel inclined enough to make Sagna their man, they would undoubtedly be able to rival any other side in terms of wage demands, but one might question whether Manuel Pellegrini's squad is in dire need of his services.

Pablo Zabaleta hasn't quite managed to recapture the form he showed last season during the 2013-14 campaign, but the Argentine international has been reliable at the least, with Micah Richards as his back-up.

That being said, Pellegrini has shown the ability to juggle two top-class full-backs on the other side of defence, with Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov jostling for playing time in the left-back role.

Inter's transfer-recruitment strategy is beginning to take on a "well-seasoned" twist. The Italians have already confirmed that 32-year-old Nemanja Vidic will be joining on a free transfer this summer, while the Metro's John Payne adds that Patrice Evra, soon to be 33, could also be on his way to the San Siro when his Manchester United contract expires this summer.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30:  Bacary Sagna of Arsenal looks on during an Arsenal training session ahead of their Champions League Group F match against Napoli at London Colney on September 30, 2013 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

By the beginning of next season, the defensive trio of Vidic, Evra and Sagna would have a collective age of 96, which isn't exactly of the long-term plan mould that Thohir might look to promote.

The Mirror's John Cross heaps praise on Arsenal's full-back:

City have the benefit of already seeing Sagna play in the English top flight and are fully aware of the talent he possesses, though it's likely the Frenchman's next contract could be his last at the top level.

As Woods suggests, Sagna is hoping to secure a deal lasting longer than two years as he seeks one final pay day, and the wage constraints in Italy could mean that a Premier League suitor makes most sense.