Arsenal to lose Sagna but could move for Barry and Mangala

Feb 10, 2014
Bill Mann

Meanwhile, former defender Ashley Cole is set to see out his career with Liverpool

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ARSENAL'S "fortnight of destiny" got off to a disastrous start on Saturday as they were thrashed 5-1 by Liverpool at Anfield, and with Man United due in town on Wednesday things have got even worse for Arsene Wenger after two players rejected contract offers.

The news that reserve goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has turned down a deal and looks set to quit the Emirates may not have Gunners weeping into their pints, but reports that Bacary Sagna is also set to abandon Arsenal will cause concern.

The Daily Star reports that the pair, both out of oncrtact in the summer, will bid farewell to the club at the end of the season. Revealing that he was fed up with playing second fiddle to Wojciech Szczesny at the Emirates, Polish stopper Fabianski said: "I am looking forward to a new challenge".

Sagna is also on his way out after turning down a two-year deal. Although the club had broken with tradition and offered the 31-year-old a two year extension rather than the usual one-year deal for over-30s, Sagna feels hard done by as he would still be earning only £60,000-a-week, the same amount he was being paid in 2008. The Frenchman feels he deserves better after sticking by the club while most of his team-mates abandoned ship in recent seasons.

Talking of underpaid Arsenal full-backs, it is claimed that Liverpool are targeting a former Gunner as one of their marquee summer signings. According to Metro Liverpool, who demolished Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield, are set to offer Ashley Cole "a Premier League lifeline" at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old left-back has lost his place in the first team at Stamford Bridge this season under Jose Mourinho and rumours abound that Cole is being courted Stateside by the MLS. But Metro claims that Brendan Rodgers, who worked with Cole during his time on the Chelsea coaching staff, still holds the England international in high regard. Cole will be a free agent in the summer and Metro says he's told Mourinho "he will not stay beyond the end of the season" if he is not guaranteed first team football. With that unlikely it appears Cole will end his days on Merseyside.

Still on the subject of ageing Englishman and the Daily Express drops a bombshell with the news that Arsene Wenger is planning to shore up his creaking squad with none other than Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry. Apparently the Nutty Professor attempted to sign the 32-year-old Barry last summer, only for City to refuse to allow the player to join a Premier League title rival.

With Barry - currently on loan to Everton - a free agent in the summer the Express swears blind that Wenger will be back in for the England international star, particularly as he won't have to open the purse strings.

Another player who could ride into the Emirates in the summer is young FC Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala. Caughtoffside reports that Wenger is in "secret talks" with the player's agent ahead of a "huge" move in the summer. Arsenal, though, are not the only club being linked to the centre back. Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Juventus are also said to be interested.

Talking of City, the Daily Mirror says that the Sky Blues have informed Real Madrid that Sergio Aguero is not for sale - "whatever the fee". Rumours are circulating in Spain that Real are on the tail of the Argentine striker, allegedly prompting a showdown between City chief executive Ferran Soriano and Madrid president Florentino Perez.

The Mirror says the upshot of the exchange was City telling the Spanish giants that the 25-year-old will not be leaving the Etihad any time soon. Aguero, who joined City from Real's local rivals Atletico Madrid in 2011, penned a contract extension last year and, according to the Mirror, City regard Aguero as "unsellable".

Finally, the Daily Star says that beleaguered Manchester United manager David Moyes is planning a £45m summer swoop for Seamus Coleman and Luke Shaw.

United were held to a 2-2 draw by basement club Fulham on Sunday and Moyes knows that his disastrous defence needs strengthening in the coming months if he's to survive in his job. To that end he will snap up the two full-backs for next season. Moyes is well acquainted with Republic of Ireland right-back Coleman, having managed him at Everton, while he has sent his scouts in recent weeks to watch Shaw strut his stuff for Southampton.

The Mirror says that even though Chelsea have been linked with a move for the 18-year-old Shaw, Moyes is "confident" of beating Chelsea in the race for the left-back's signature. The Star also has some alarming news for United fans, claiming that French champions Paris Saint Germain are "plotting a £40m raid" for Adnan Januzaj in the summer, having been impressed by the teenager's composed performances behind the strikers this season.

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