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."