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Contract snubs aplenty as Arsenal’s full-back hunt improves

| 09.04.2014

Having been held to ransom by right-back Bacary Sagna over the Frenchman’s new contract, it seems Arsenal have resigned themselves to losing the man whose protected their right flank 276 times in all competitions.

The 31-year-old’s deal is up this summer and, as has been well reported, wants an astronomical hike in his weekly wage along with some other benefits if he’s to sign an extension.

Miserly at the best of times, Arsene Wenger is naturally reluctant to bow to those demands and has been linked to a number of options in the search for a Sagna replacement.

The foremost of those candidates is the 21-year-old Ivory Coast international, Serge Aurier, and it seems the Gunners, who are 4/9 to beat Wigan in the FA Cup next time out, have been given a major boost to their chances of landing him.

Playing for eighth-placed Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse, Aurier has caught the eye of domestic rivals Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco but, despite the wads of cash he could potentially earn at either of those stinking-rich powerhouses, is thought to prefer a switch to north London.

The Sun are reporting that the versatile right-sider will take inspiration from Sagna and snub advances from both French clubs in order to seal a move to the Premier League, although the tabloid suggest Arsenal must up their impending opening offer of £7.5m to £12m in order to land the star.

10 years Sagna’s junior, Aurier will evoke memories of Emmanuel Eboue – the man he’s replaced in the Ivory Coast national side – with his ability to play in either defence or midfield.

It seems the youngster would be an upgrade on the yellow-card-loving former Gunner though, with his six goals this term beating Eboue’s entire Arsenal career haul.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.