Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Sagna: I'm sticking with Gunners

Bacary Sagna says he wants to stay at Arsenal

Bacary Sagna has no intention of leaving Arsenal this summer, despite reports linking him with a move away from north London.

The 30-year-old right-back has been an important member of the Gunners squad since arriving from Auxerre in 2007.

However, there have been sustained reports this summer that Sagna, now in the final year of his contract, could soon be leaving the Emirates Stadium.

Paris St Germain, Monaco, Galatasaray and Anzhi Makhachkala have all been linked with the France international, who insists he is not going anywhere.

"I enjoy playing for Arsenal," Sagna told reporters. "I love my team and I always give my best.

"I'm still here. Many people were talking about me going back to France but I'm still here and I'm looking forward to a big season with Arsenal.

"Last season was difficult. I only had one year left and people were looking at that and maybe thinking I would leave.

"But I tried to stay as calm as I could. Now I will work hard in pre-season and have a good season for Arsenal."

Sagna has endured a tough time over the past two years, spending large chunks of time on the sidelines after twice breaking his leg.

The France international is now looking forward to a "new start" this season - a campaign in which he believes Arsenal can end their eight-year quest for a trophy.

"I believe that we can challenge for the title with a couple of good signings," Sagna said.

"We beat great teams last year, we managed to be one of the best teams in the second half of the season and if we can be consistent for the whole season, I believe we can be successful.

"If I had the solution as to what went wrong last season, I would have given it.

"I think it's a question of desire and, in some games, being over-confident because we know we have the players and the quality.

"We just have to find consistency and the belief to get success.

"Every team is strengthening and we can strengthen, too, but it's more about us caring on the pitch and showing the commitment. That will take us a long way."

One area that Arsenal are keen to strengthen is their strike force, with Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain all strongly linked.

However, manager Arsene Wenger insists any such signings will not mean Olivier Giroud, brought in from Montpellier last summer, is on his way out.

"[The transfer rumours are] nothing to do with the quality of Olivier Giroud," the Gunners boss told Arsenal Player. "It's just number-wise, we are a bit short."

Giroud has been in fine form on Arsenal's Asian Tour, netting five goals in just 65 minutes of action.

Another impressing Wenger in pre-season is 17-year-old striker Chuba Akpom.

"When you are a striker, the mistakes you make are not costly for the team but the talent you have can be very helpful," the Frenchman said.

"It looks like he has the physical strength and the technical quality to compete so for him it's just down to mental belief now and these kind of games will help him."

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