Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Wenger hints at Sagna departure

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 May 2014


Arsene Wenger has hinted that his hopes of keeping Bacary Sagna at Arsenal beyond the current season have ended in failure.

The France right-back’s contract expires in June, with a host of clubs including Manchester City and Inter reportedly hoping to snap him up in a cut-price deal.

Wenger has claimed to be confident over Sagna’s future at the Emirates Stadium in recent months, though admitting securing his signature was not guaranteed.

And it now appears that the 31-year-old, who joined Arsenal from Auxerre in 2007, will indeed leave for nothing at the campaign’s conclusion.

Lukasz Fabianski and Nicklas Bendtner also appear set to depart when their contracts expire in June, but Wenger insists he will stand firm in the face of interest in other members of his squad.

Thomas Vermaelen has been linked with Chelsea and Barcelona, while Lukas Podolski has recently expressed a frustration at a lack of opportunities to complete 90 minutes at Arsenal.

“You might think it but these players are not necessarily open to a move,” Wenger said.

“We have only two players who are out of contract, all the rest need our agreement and they have not got it yet.”

Reports have claimed Podolski may be used in a makeweight for a move for Schalke star Julian Draxler, despite a fine return to the first team from injury in recent weeks which has seen him score four goals in his last three games.

Despite his good form in front of goal, Wenger will resist urges to play the Germany attacker up front, as he does not believe Podolski is best-suited to the role.

Wenger added: “He can play as a second striker hanging behind, but he is not a guy who likes contact up front because he likes to run in behind and get the ball to feet.

“Once he gets in the box, and he has a chance to score, he is the one you want to have the ball because he is very accurate, very quick, has a short backlift and is a quick, fantastic finisher.

“That is why everyone says, ‘Yes he is a striker’, but when he plays completely up front you don’t feel he enjoys it. He likes to come to the ball and always come deep.

“He does not agree and certainly thinks he is a striker, but he is a striker with somebody else who is a striker as well and has different qualities than he has.”



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