Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Aaron Ramsey, Bacary Sagna and More

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2014

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 19:  Jonas Gutierrez of Newcastle in action against Bacary Sagna (L) and Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on May 19, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Fresh off ending a nine-year spell without a trophy by lifting the FA Cup, Arsenal must now focus on transfer dilemmas involving two key stars.  

Dynamic midfield ace Aaron Ramsey and reliable full-back Bacary Sagna are at the centre of the latest Arsenal-related transfer stories. Ex-Gunner John Hartson believes the game's big clubs will be circling around cup-final hero Ramsey this summer, per BBC Sport:

"Aaron Ramsey will be linked to 10 clubs in the summer," said Hartson. "But I can't see him leaving Arsenal in the foreseeable future. He's settled and loves the club."

The latter part of Hartson's view will please Gunners fans. Ramsey has become the one player manager Arsene Wenger's team cannot afford to lose.

The ex-Cardiff City prodigy has finally put his injury woes behind him. Ramsey infamously had his development curtailed by a reckless challenge from Stoke City centre-back Ryan Shawcross in late-February 2010.

At the time, Ramsey was fast becoming a precocious young star. His performances in the winter of 2009/10, notably in away victories over Portsmouth and West Ham United, were superb.

FA Cup hero Aaron Ramsey has been exceptional this season.
FA Cup hero Aaron Ramsey has been exceptional this season.Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Yet since that injury, Ramsey has endured a tough climb back to prominence. He was chided by a section of Arsenal supporters during the 2011/12 season for being a supposed weak link.

But the doubters have been well and truly silenced this season. Ramsey has been magnificent, netting 10 goals and providing eight assists in the English Premier League, according to

The thigh injury that kept Ramsey out from late-December to early April did more to derail Arsenal's title challenge than any other factor.

Manager Arsene Wenger's brand of stylish and creative passing football has always been defined by midfield runners. Ramsey is currently the best forward-breaking runner in England's top flight.

He was awarded with a bumper new contract back in early March. While his performances will rightly alert suitors from the elite echelons of the game, don't expect Ramsey to go anywhere anytime soon.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said of Sagna. The experienced and resolute stopper's contract expires this summer, and he has yet to agree fresh terms.

Bacary Sagna is wanted by EPL champions Manchester City.
Bacary Sagna is wanted by EPL champions Manchester City.Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Instead, the 31-year-old is being courted by both Manchester clubs. Sunday Express writer John Richardson has reported that Sagna is a target for prospective Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal.

But the Dutch coach's bid to snare Sagna will depend on his ability to thwart local enemy Manchester City. Sagna is alleged to have even told his current team-mates he will be suiting up for the blue half of Manchester next season, according to Daily Mirror writer Paul Gorst.

But with the glint of the FA Cup still gleaming in his eye, there is a chance Saga may yet stay in North London. Although, the player maintains a decision is still a long way from being made, per James Olley of The London Evening Standard:

If Sagna does leave, Wenger may already have a replacement ready to join the club. Metro reporter Simon Osborn states long-term target Serge Aurier could be signed for just £7 million this summer.

That would be a bargain fee for the 21-year-old Ivory Coast international. Aurier is an exceptional talent as a versatile defender with a great engine.

He can cover ground in attack, as well as provide cover defensively. He would give Arsenal a lot of the vital qualities Sagna has embodied since 2007, namely energy, skill and tenacity.

But Sagna isn't the only potential loss to Arsenal's defensive ranks. Deputy goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski appears to have played his last game for the Gunners, according to

The experienced Polish stopper was invaluable during the club's triumphant cup run. Replacing him won't be easy, but Wenger needs capable cover behind young starter Wojciech Szczesny.

Cardiff City's David Marshall certainly fits the bill. He has made a series of highlight reel-worthy saves this season.

Sunday People reporter Neil Moxley believes Wenger is prepared to pay £8 million for the recently relegated 'keeper, via the Mirror.

Moving further forward, Wenger could be ready to add Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony to reinforce an attack that needs strengthening this summer.

Steve Stammers of The Daily Mirror suggests Wenger will test the Welsh club's resolve to keep the powerful forward. Bony enjoyed a prolific first season with the Swans, thumping in 24 goals, per

Bony is certainly a potent attacker, but the Gunners already have towering Frenchman Olivier Giroud. He is not as assured as a finisher, but Giroud's link play is vital to the way Arsenal attack.

Wilfried Bony is emerging as a prime target for Arsene Wenger.
Wilfried Bony is emerging as a prime target for Arsene Wenger.Michael Steele/Getty Images

Wenger might be best served looking for a player with different qualities, namely pace, to partner with Giroud. However, after seeing Giroud and Yaya Sanogo (another tall striker possessing aerial strength) combine well in the 3-2 FA Cup final win over Hull City, Wenger might believe Bony would be an astute signing.

Adding to his forward line will certainly be a summer priority for Wenger, as well as tinkering with a potentially Sagna-less defence. But with Ramsey still around, the midfield will at least remain strong. 

At the moment, Wenger can continue revelling in a first trophy win since 2005. But it won't be long before he begins retooling his squad to claim more silverware next season.


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