Bacary Sagna has said he is confident he can earn a place in France’s World Cup squad despite still not having decided where he will play in the second half of the season.
Sagna has been without a club since his Manchester City contract ended last summer and is training on his own in London as he considers offers.
He has seen Monaco’s Djibril Sidibe and Nice’s Christophe Jallet move ahead of him in France boss Didier Deschamps’ thinking but feels he can still be on the plane to Russia in the summer.
“I’ll come back soon and I have confidence in myself,” RMC Sport reported the 34-year-old, who won the last of his 65 caps in 2016, as saying.
“I want to play. That’s the priority. I have just had three years at City which were a bit mixed.
“My second year was very fruitful. I was a bit injured last year because I came back tired from Euro 2016. But I want to play again, be consistent, and to think — why not? — about the World Cup.
“I totally believe I can do it. I have never doubted myself.
“People ask me why I’m not training with a team. I preferred to train by myself, on my own. I want to be part of a squad and deserve to be part of that squad. I don’t want it to be a gift someone gives me.”
The former Auxerre and Arsenal full-back said he was “waiting to take the right opportunity” with a new club.
Such an opportunity did not come along last summer, and Sagna said: “I work from my gut reaction and I didn’t get a good feeling from the clubs that approached me.
“There were quite a few, to be honest, most of them outside of England. My priority, at the outset, was to stay in England. I thought it over and I wanted to take a bit more time to take the right decision.”
However, he suggested that speculation he could join Marseille was wide of the mark, adding: “It’s been six months people have been talking about OM.
“I can’t necessarily say that it’s OM, but certain clubs have approached me.”
Ian is ESPN’s French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman