Arsene Wenger says Arsenal want to keep their best players but insists the club has always reacted well when star names have flown the nest.
While the regularity with which rival clubs have cherry-picked Gunners has declined in recent years, the Frenchman is confronted with the possibility of losing Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez for free next summer.
Their situations, coupled with doubts over the long-term future of Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, could make for a busy summer at the Emirates.
“In our job some days you think you make progress and the next you move back again,” replied Wenger when asked for an update on the club’s contract negotiations.
“So long as something is not signed you don’t like too much to talk about it.”
Asked what Arsenal would do if they lost several players at once, he continued: “How [do] we cope with that? Well, first of all we haven’t lost them yet. Second, we will respond to that by bringing in players of top quality.”
Wenger seemed to get increasingly agitated when the topic was revisited later in the press conference. Asked specifically about Jack Wilshere being close to penning a new deal, he made clear that until he has a signature it’s not worth talking about.
“We want them to stay. I say I answered that question because as long as things are not signed you can say you are positive or negative or super positive. When things are not signed, you shut up and announce things when they are concrete. It’s as simple as that.
“This club has lost many, many big players and has always responded well. Massive players have left this club and the club will always be in a strong position. You want to keep your best players, yes.”