Manchester City

Man City Transfer Move for Arsenal Defender Bacary Sagna Makes Perfect Sense

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19:  Mario Goetze of Bayern Muenchen clashes with Mathieu Flamini and Bacary Sagna of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and FC Bayern Muenchen at Emirates Stadium on February 19, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Rob PollardFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2014

According to a report by David Hytner in The Guardian, Manchester City have offered Bacary Sagna a three-year contract after his contract renewal talks with Arsenal stalled. The Frenchman's current deal expires this summer, and he can move to the Etihad on a free transfer.

The 31-year-old has had an excellent season, and it would be a shrewd move if City can seal a deal. It's thought, though, that Arsene Wenger is keen to keep the player and is prepared to alter his policy of only offering one-year extensions to players over 30 in order to persuade him to stay.

Sagna appears to be holding out for a three-year extension, a deal that would likely see him through to the end of his career, but City are thought to be prepared to offer him more than his current £50k-a-week.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08:  Raheem Sterling of Liverpool is challenged by Bacary Sagna of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on February 8, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/
Michael Regan/Getty Images

If Sagna did move to Manchester, he would be following in the footsteps of Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy in swapping north London for the Etihad.

Pablo Zabaleta is City's first-choice right-back and would likely continue to be so, regardless of who arrives in the summer. He's developed into one of the best in Europe over the past two seasons and is a firm favourite with the fans.

Sagna would offer competition, something he has lacked in recent times because of Micah Richards' injuries and poor form. Richards was a standout performer for City during their title-winning campaign in 2011-12, but a serious knee injury last season—and a series of muscular problems this season—have seen his involvement dwindle.

Understandably, on the rare occasions he has played (he's managed just two league appearances this season), his performances have been well below par, and if Sagna were to move to City it would raise doubts about Richards' future.

Sagna's age may appear a negative on the surface, but a close inspection allays any fears. He's still quick and strong, and as this report by David Lynch in the Manchester Evening News shows, he's managed more playing time than most top-quality right-backs in the Premier League this season.

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

He's seen 2,430 minutes of action this season, with Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea the only right-back at a top four club seeing more action. Zabaleta has played 2,269 minutes and Glen Johnson just 1,891.

And in terms of one-on-one duels, Sagna is the most difficult to beat (62.2 percent) more than any other top four right-back. And with five assists to his name, he's also created more goals than his rivals.

It makes a lot of sense for City to pursue a deal for a player with Premier League experience and plenty of quality.

 

Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @RobPollard_.

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