Bacary Sagna
Sagna will return to the Emirates Stadium next Saturday with Manchester City. Reuters

Bacary Sagna has explained his decision to leave Arsenal for Manchester City, claiming that he needed to give a boost to his career.

Even though Arsene Wenger tried desperately to convince him to commit his future to the Gunners with a renewal offer, the French international rejected the proposal and moved instead as a free-agent to the Premier League Champions.

"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," Sagna told SkySports.

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

Nevertheless, Sagna is aware he will now have big competition from Pablo Zabaleta to secure regular place time in Manuel Pellegrini's line-up – putting at risk his international place.

"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."

After seven years at the Emirates Stadium, Sagna expects a hostile reaction from Gunners fans when he returns next Saturday to North London to face his former club.

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