Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has quashed rumours he will leave this summer by admitting he was “looking forward to a big season” with the club that he loves.
And the France international believes the north London club can challenge for the title with the addition of a “couple of good signings”.
Entering the final 12 months of his contract, the 30-year-old Sagna was rumoured to be leaving the Emirates after failing to agree to a new deal.
But despite the uncertainty over his Arsenal future, Sagna is ready to give his ‘best’ for the club – even if he walks next year as a free agent.
"I enjoy playing for Arsenal," Sagna told The Guardian. "I love my team, and I always give my best. I'm still here. Many people were talking about me going back to France but I'm still here and I'm looking forward to a big season with Arsenal.
"Last season was difficult. I only had one year left and people were looking at that and maybe thinking I would leave. But I tried to stay as calm as I could. Now I will work hard in pre-season and have a good season for Arsenal."
Finally getting back to full strength after enduring a number of injuries, Sagna was confident he – along with the help of a number of new signings - could help the club return to the top of the Premier League and break the club’s long silverware drought.
"It's been very difficult for me physically," Sagna said. "I was out for four months. I went out to Qatar to do my rehab, then I came back and had to start all over again. It was not easy because the injuries take a lot from you. But I'm looking forward to coming back, being at my best and helping the team again. I'm looking forward to the new season and a new start.
"I believe that we can challenge for the title with a couple of good signings. We beat great teams last year, we managed to be one of the best teams in the second half of the season and if we can be consistent for the whole season, I believe we can be successful.
"If I had the solution as to what went wrong last season, I would have given it. I think it's a question of desire and, in some games, being over-confident because we know we have the players and the quality. We just have to find consistency and the belief to get success. Every team is strengthening and we can strengthen, too, but it's more about us caring on the pitch and showing the commitment. That will take us a long way."