Manchester City have announced the signing of Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna after the World Cup in Brazil when his contract with Arsenal expires this summer.
Sagna, 31, will join on a three year contract and will be assigned the vacant number 3 shirt. The same number he wore for Arsenal for whom he made a total of 284 appearances.
Sagna helped Arsenal lift the FA Cup in his last match for the Gunners and was widely known to be seeking a move away from the Emirates despite a lucrative offer to stay.
Sagna’s signing will bolster City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s defensive options and increase competition with Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards.
There will now be increased speculation over the future of Richards, who has been plagued by injury in recent years after a promising early career at City.
Richards could now find opportunities limited as he enters the last year of his City contract and may be tempted by rumours of a move to West Ham although he would qualify as a ‘home grown’ player for City’s forthcoming Champions League campaign which has been hit by a reduced squad penalty as punishment for not meeting UEFA’s financial fair play requirements.
Local club Oldham Athletic, who City signed Richards from as a youngster, could net 20% of the expected £7m fee if Richards does indeed move on this summer and Richards could be just the latest of a host of ‘home grown’ players including Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell shown the door at the Etihad as Pellegrini looks to refresh the squad.
Right back is a position that has become the domain of fans favourite Pablo Zabaleta in recent years and the 29-year old Argentine defender signed a new 4-year contract last summer.
As with last season, City have quietly gone ahead with their transfer business early and have already made moves to sign Porto’s Fernando although they have missed out on Cesc Fabregas who signed for Chelsea yesterday.
They will also attempt to bolster their defensive ranks with a move for long term target Eliaquim Mangala, Fernando’s Porto team mate, despite reports that the French defender has expressed a preference for a move to United or Chelsea ahead of City.
If the Mangala deal falls through there have also been well publicised overtures to Roma’s Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia.