Since arriving at Arsenal in 2006, Sagna has been one of the club’s most consistent performers. There are few better right-backs in European football.
This season, Sagna has added versatility to his many other attributes. On several occasions, he has filled in at both centre-half and left-back without missing a beat. He is an invaluable presence in the Arsenal squad.
However, it seems the Gunners won’t be able to count on him for long. Sagna’s current Arsenal contract expires this summer, and having thus far failed to agree on a new deal, he is now expected to leave the club on a Bosman free.
Enter Manchester City.
The main problem between Sagna and Arsenal has reportedly been the proposed length of a contract extension. Arsene Wenger is reluctant to commit to him long-term. The Manchester giants have no such worries.
According to David Hytner of The Guardian, City are preparing to offer Sagna the three-year deal he is after:
Bacary Sagna has been offered a three-year deal by Manchester City and he will consider whether to become the latest Arsenal player to move between the clubs in the summer. The 31-year-old full-back remains locked in contractual stand-off with Arsenal, the club he joined in 2007 and his current terms are set to expire in June, making him a free agent.
It’s a well-trodden path. The likes of Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy have all left Arsenal for Manchester City in search of money and medals. However, the regularity doesn’t make the occurrence any more galling.
As he has shown throughout this campaign, Sagna still has plenty to offer at this level. Many Arsenal fans have made their peace with the prospect of him leaving, but the possibility of him strengthening a rival is a new and painful twist.
Supporters would far prefer to see him move abroad.
If Sagna is to depart, it seems he will have plenty of options. On the continent, Inter Milan have already declared an interest. Having snared Nemanja Vidic from Manchester United in a similar deal, the Italians are now looking to add Sagna to their back line.
Inter's club president, Erick Thohir, spoke with Inter Milan's official website (h/t BBC Sport) about Sagna:
We're interested in Sagna because we need to balance the team.
Right now we only have [Yuto] Nagatomo and Jonathan. If one of them gets injured you need somebody else to come in.
If Sagna decided to stay in England, we'd understand and in that case we might bring in a young player from our academy.
When Thohir floated the possibility of Sagna staying in England, Arsenal fans had renewed hope that he might remain with the club. News of City’s interest has sparked fears that another stalwart could defect to a Premier League rival.