The Swansea and Sochaux defenders are being targeted by the Gunners to challenge Carl Jenkinson for the right-back slot next season
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Arsenal have placed Sebastien Corchia and Angel Rangel at the top of their shortlist as they step up plans to replace Bacary Sagna, Goal.com has learned.
Arsene Wenger is set to buy a new right-back in the summer who can fit in with the Gunners’ playing style and challenge Carl Jenkinson for the first-team slot.
His two main targets are understood to be Sochaux defender Corchia, who has represented France at Under-21, Under-19, Under-18 and Under-17 level, and Swansea City’s Rangel.
As reported by Goal.com, Sagna is at loggerheads with Arsenal following the collapse of his contract negotiations and has told team-mates that he expects to leave at the end of the season.
Paris Saint-Germain are the favourites to sign Sagna, who is valued at the €9-12 million mark by the Gunners and whose current deal expires in 2014.
Arsenal have no plans to listen to offers for Sagna’s deputy Jenkinson, but will closely monitor the 21-year-old’s progress over the last two months of the season before deciding who should challenge him for a starting place next term.
Corchia is being regularly scouted by Arsenal’s scouts and Wenger has received excellent feedback about the young Frenchman.
The 22-year-old is at the other end of the experience scale to Rangel but has a burgeoning reputation in France. He has started more games for Ligue 1 strugglers Sochaux than any other player this season and is regarded in his homeland as a future fixture of the national team.
Wenger is also a big admirer of Rangel, who has been a key figure in Swansea’s rise to prominence. At 30, the Spaniard is the same age as Sagna and would be a like-for-like replacement for the Frenchman in terms of seniority.
Rangel signed a two-year contract extension earlier this month that ties him to Swansea until 2016 but he remains on Arsenal’s radar. The Londoners made an enquiry for Rangel last summer and his new agreement will not stop Wenger from making a move if he decides the Spaniard is the right man.
Sagna, the man Corchia could eventually succeed at international level, is struggling to recover from a knee injury that kept him out of Arsenal’s last four matches before the international break.
Arsenal’s initial decision not to offer Sagna a long-term deal was based on a number of factors, including his age, his injury record after suffering two broken legs in a year and the player’s early season interview in which he criticised the club for selling Robin van Persie and Alex Song last summer.
The defender has done nothing to force a U-turn since the contract offer. He has delivered a series of mixed performances in recent months and his attitude in training sessions has also been called into question.