sport

Sagna explains Arsenal exit

Bacary Sagna claims he needed to leave 'family club' Arsenal for Premier League champions Manchester City to further his career.

The France international ended his seven-year association with the Emirates Stadium club in the summer when his contract expired, allowing him to join City as a free agent.

Sagna accepts he will face greater competition for a starting role in Manuel Pellegrini's star-studded squad, with Argentina international Pablo Zabaleta his main rival.

But the 31-year-old, who has sympathy for Gunners fans due to the regular departures from their side in recent years, says it was a risk he was prepared to take.

He told reporters: "I am 31 and this was the right time for me to leave Arsenal. I wanted to see somewhere new, and to boost my career.

"I have left a family club, which I joined when I was very young, and where I have known Arsene Wenger all the time.

"There are differences between Manchester and London as cities, regarding the weather, and between the two clubs.

"But I am now part of a much deeper squad at City, where it's even harder for me to win a first-team place.

"It is fair to say that could pose a risk to my place in the France side. But I'm not taking that into consideration. I feel more powerful than ever.

"It is what I was looking for. I needed it in order to go the extra mile.

"Arsenal are, and remain, a quality side. But I can understand their fans feeling frustrated when they see players moving to other clubs."