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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Auxerre's Sagna signs for Arsenal
Bacary Sagna
Sagna has been handed the number three shirt
Arsenal have signed Auxerre defender Bacary Sagna for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old, who was in the last France squad but is uncapped, has signed a long-term deal and said: "It is great to be joining Arsenal."

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger told the club's website: "He is a very capable defender and has played consistently well for Auxerre in recent seasons.

"He plays mainly at right-back, but can also play along the defence or in midfield. He is strong and quick."

Sagna, who will wear the number three shirt, has been a regular in the Auxerre team for the last three seasons and won the French Cup in 2005.

And Sagna added: "I know Abou Diaby from our time together at Auxerre and also Gael Clichy and Mathieu Flamini from the French Under-21 team.

The fact no-one really rates us means maybe we can surprise people

Sagna on Arsenal's prospects

"Also Arsene Wenger is a major reason why I have signed for Arsenal. He is an excellent manager with a fantastic record and I am really looking forward to working with him."

Sagna's signing comes in the wake of compatriot Thierry Henry's departure to Barcelona.

But the new signing is confident the Gunners can still compete for silverware next season.

"We have youth and the fact that no-one really rates us means that maybe we can surprise people," he added.

"The young players want to prove what they can do and I want to prove what I can do. And all of this together will help us have a good season, I hope."

"It is quite a French-speaking club, everybody has put me at ease right from the start and I feel good."

Arsenal have been linked with Caen striker Yoan Gouffran, who helped his club win promotion to the French top-flight last season.


But their president Jean-Francois Fortin believes it is too early for the 21-year-old to join the Gunners.

"Yoan is a young player who has not played in Ligue 1 and I am convinced the best thing for him is the stage here," Fortin told L'Equipe.

"Unlike us, I am not sure the interested clubs could guarantee him a stage to perform like we can. If he is given just 20 minutes at the end of a match - I don't think that is very interesting for him.

"I honestly believe it is too early for him to leave."


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