It now looks a matter of days before confirmation arrives that Bacary Sagna’s seven-year association with Arsenal will be coming to an end this summer. Having failed to agree a new contract to stay at the Emirates Stadium beyond the end of June, the France international is widely reported to be on the verge of signing a three-year deal worth in excess of £100,000 a week.
Sagna’s departure would leave the still inexperienced Carl Jenkinson as the only option at right-back, meaning that manager Arsene Wenger looks sure to go into the transfer market for a replacement.
Several names have been linked, with these the most likely candidates:
Serge Aurier (Toulouse)
The 21-year-old Ivorian has spoken of his desire to move to the Premier League and for it to be with Arsenal. The Gunners’ widely reported continued interest in him suggests he may well get his wish sooner rather than later. Defensively sound and physically strong enough to play at center-back, but quick and good enough on the ball to be an attacking threat at right-back, Aurier looks an excellent proposition.
Callum Chambers (Southampton)
Another of the extremely promising prospects from Southampton’s academy, Chambers made his breakthrough into the first team this season and has gone onto make 22 appearances in the Premier League. The England Under-19 captain’s performances suggest he can follow in the footsteps of his teammate on the opposite side of the pitch, Luke Shaw. Arsenal are thought to have had Chambers watched, although he will likely be difficult to prize away.
Seamus Coleman (Everton)
While Leighton Baines has garnered much praise, his fellow Everton full-back Coleman has been at least equally impressive. A real menace going forward, Coleman has scored six goals in the Premier League this season having been given even more license to attack under Roberto Martinez. The Republic of Ireland international would surely be an excellent fit at the Emirates, but it is likely to take more money than Wenger is willing to spend to convince Everton to part with him.
Juanfran (Atletico Madrid)
The 28-year-old claimed that he turned down a move to Arsenal last summer, but reports have emerged in recent days that the Gunners’ interest could resurface should Sagna leave. A member of Spain’s provisional World Cup squad, the Real Madrid youth product has been a reliable presence in an Atletico Madrid team that has already won the Spanish league title and could yet add the Champions League crown. Yet, having rejected more money to join Arsenal 12 months ago, it is hard to see why anything would be different now.