Even though UEFA have placed a wages cap on City for breaching financial fair play rules, Sagna’s huge salary will not be a problem because Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry’s departures at the end of their contracts mean a combined saving of over £200,000 a week.
Sagna will officially sign on July 1 when his Arsenal contract has expired and become the fifth player City have captured from the Gunners in five years, following Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure in 2009, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy in 2011.
Pellegrini wants to ‘job-share’ the right-back position in the same way the left-back slot was shared by Alexander Kolarov and Clichy who made 31 and 28 starts in all competitions last season respectively.
But Sagna’s arrival will signal the end for City’s longest-serving player Micah Richards, Zabaleta’s cover at right-back for the last two seasons.
Richards made only two Premier League starts last season and did not even qualify for a League winners’ medal. The former England international defender has already admitted he needs to relaunch his flagging career at another club where he can play regularly.
City are also ready to sell Joe Hart’s No2, Costel Pantilimon, who wants regular football, and Scott Sinclair while Jack Rodwell is likely to go out on loan next season.