Bacary Sagna and the Other Key Issues Arsene Wenger Must Address at Arsenal
Having won the FA Cup, Arsene Wenger also seems set to secure a new contract and a hefty pay rise.
According to David Hytner of The Guardian, Wenger will sign a new three-year deal worth around £8 million per year.
There will be no time to dwell on the Gunners' successful pursuit of silverware. Wenger must deal with a number of key issues at the club, starting with the future of full-back Bacary Sagna.
Bacary Sagna's Future
In the wake of Arsenal's FA Cup final victory, Bacary Sagna insisted his future was still uncertain.
He told SkySports:
Will it be my last game for Arsenal? I don't know.
Everyone knows I am out of contract and we have not found an agreement with Arsenal.
Right now, there is a lot of emotion and I am just very happy for Arsene Wenger and for everyone at this club.
The suspicion remains that if Sagna was going to stay, he would have signed a new deal by now. Wenger must first find clarity about Sagna's situation, then potentially set about recruiting a replacement.
Replacing Lukasz Fabianski
Lukasz Fabianski was considerably more candid than Bacary Sagna when discussing his future. Talking to the Daily Mail after the FA Cup final, the Polish goalkeeper admitted his future lay elsewhere:
It was probably my last game for Arsenal. I don't know what I can say, but if I end my Arsenal career in that way then it is the best way to finish.
Fabianski will now head off in search of regular first-team football.
Thomas Vermaelen's Situation
Arsenal's club captain is another player who seems likely to depart this summer.
Pressed on his intentions before the FA Cup final, Thomas Vermaelen told The Express that his future was "not important." However, it will be important to Arsene Wenger if he has to find a way to replace the Belgian.
Uncovering a back-up centre-half with Vermaelen's credentials will be no easy task.
Adding to the Attack
If there is one area of the squad where Arsenal require a drastic improvement, it's in attack. According to David Hytner of The Guardian, Arsenal are hoping to tie up a move for French forward Loic Remy.
That would be a sensible signing. Remy would add pace and versatility to the Arsenal attack, and he could play alongside Olivier Giroud as well as instead of him.
Mikel Arteta's Contract
Mikel Arteta's current Arsenal contract expires at the end of next season, and he is due for talks with the club this summer. The Spaniard told The Guardian he will be forthright in seeking what he wants:
Age can be an asset for the club. For me, a much bigger asset is someone who has played 125 games in three years compared to someone who has played 25, if he is 20 years old. That's my opinion.
I understand the club point of view: 'Mikel is not a £25m player because he is not 22 any more.' But I know what else I can give. So it's to find the right balance between mentalities. We need to analyse and talk about it.
Arteta's experience is vital to the squad, and Arsenal fans will hope a suitable compromise can be reached.