The defender says he wants to set the record straight and denied accusations that money was behind his decision to sign for Manchester City at the end of his Gunners contract
By Greg Stobart in Rio de Janeiro
Bacary Sagna has hit back at Arsenal fans and insisted that he did not move to Manchester City for financial reasons.
The French defender has signed a three-year deal with City and will formally join the Premier League champions on a free transfer when his Arsenal contract expires on June 30.
A number of Gunners fans have accused Sagna of being greedy but the 31-year-old is adamant that the need for a fresh start was the driving force behind his decision to quit after seven years in north London.
“I’m going to clear everything up because I keep reading that I did it for money and I’m greedy,” said Sagna following France’s World Cup draw with Ecuador at the Maracana.
“What I want to say is I stayed with Arsenal with the same contract since 2008 and I never asked for more money.
“For people who think it’s for money, it’s not. I just wanted to change. I needed a boost in my career and I think it was about time.”
Sagna held several rounds of talks over a new deal with Arsenal and admitted he found it difficult to keep his mind clear amid constant speculation surrounding his future.
“It was not an easy time because we were still involved in the FA Cup and it was hard to stay focused,” he added.
“I stayed focused on my team because I have a lot of respect for Arsenal.
“I believe Arsenal are a great team. I believe we have great quality and [am happy that] we won a trophy finally. It’s not even about that because Arsenal have quality.
“It’s just that, personally, I wanted a boost. I needed to start from the bottom again.”
The France international, who is currently in Brazil for the World Cup, also says he is ready to fight with Pablo Zabaleta for a place in the City starting team.
Sagna added: “It is an exciting time for my career because I’m 31. I know they have a very good right-back in Zabaleta and I will have to fight to find some time on the pitch.
“But I think we have a good team with City and we can do great.”