Football: Wenger warns Sagna not to criticise Arsenal

Above: Arsene Wenger

LONDON - Arsene Wenger has warned Bacary Sagna not to criticise Arsenal after the French right-back expressed concern about the departures of several star players.

Reacting to the pre-season sales of Robin van Persie to Manchester United and Alex Song to Barcelona and the success of his former Arsenal team-mates Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy at Manchester City, Sagna last week said: "Everyone was expecting van Persie to leave, but Song, that was a surprise. I don't understand that at all.

"In May, I watched City's parade on TV. I saw Samir and Gael lift the trophy. I want that."

The 29-year-old, signed from Auxerre in 2008, also revealed discussions had not yet started on a contract extension even though his current deal expires at the end of this season.

Arsenal manager Wenger believes Sagna remains committed to the Gunners, but he was quick to make it clear that dissent will not be tolerated.

"I had a chat with Sagna about it. I think he loves the club and will stay here," Wenger said on Thursday.

"I believe any player or any employee always had to defend the company he works for - and if he is not completely happy with it then he has to go somewhere else.

"That is basically what I think, and that is what I say to everybody."

Despite Sagna's public outburst, Wenger revealed Arsenal will look to open contract negotiations with the defender, while talks over Theo Walcott's long-term future continue.

"It will be discussed, yes," Wenger said. "I expect him to stay and I want him to stay.

"The interview does not really reflect at all what he thinks about the club, and the love he has for this club because he has always shown total commitment on the football pitch - for the team and the club.

"That is much more important than a little bit twisted article in the newspaper."

Wenger also revealed Sagna, currently sidelined with a broken leg, could return to action by the end of the month after fracturing his right fibula against Norwich in May.

"His fitness is quite good, I believe he is two or three weeks away," Wenger added.

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