There's been speculation for months over the future of Bacary Sagna. He's 30, he's been hurt badly recently, and his contract is almost up. And with a relatively poor season last year (for him, compared to most right backs he was still very good), transfer winds have swirled. But if it's possible to do so (it's not), he's put that mostly to rest in an interview with gulfnews.com. Sagna:
We are still talking [about a new contract]. I never said I wanted to leave the club, but there are some journalists who want to speculate as I have just one year to go.
The fact is that I am still at Arsenal and I am looking forward to playing next season. Arsenal made me grow as a player and as a man. People have been talking about me going back to France, but at the moment I am at Arsenal.
I don't doubt that Sagna is interested in staying, as he's been at Arsenal for a long time and as he says in that interview, he's all about Arsene Wenger. The real question is whether Wenger is all about Sagna, at least to the extent that he's willing to offer the kind of contract that will keep the player here. With the red flags noted earlier, a big, long-term deal is pretty unlikely. But if Sagna really wants to stay, I could see a compromise being found with a slightly higher wage for two years or so. If he doesn't end up signing during the summer, I could also see a situation like Theo Walcott last year where Sagna signs a late deal during the season.
Hopefully he stays, to help build stability and consistency in the team. While I think Carl Jenkinson would be a fine replacement - not quite as good, but good enough - I'd rather keep last year's team together and add to it, rather than having to rebuild again. Even if it's for better reasons than it's been the past few years, the instability caused by building a new team every year is, I think, a big reason why Arsenal always find themselves behind the leaders at midseason. It would be nice to prevent having to do that again.
Either way, at least Sagna is publicly playing nice with Arsenal. He even said he thinks we can win the league!