By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger hopes to convince Cesc Fabregas that the greatest achievement of his career would be to stay at Arsenal and lead them to glory.
The Spanish midfielder has been linked with a move to Barcelona throughout this summer and discussed his situation with the manager when he returned to pre-season training last week.
As expected, the future of Fabregas was the major talking point for the media when Arsenal touched down in Malaysia on Monday for the start of their Asia Tour.
The 24-year-old was not on the plane because of injury however his manager believes the captain will be keeping the armband this season.
“I am confident because I hope he will see that there will be no greater achievement for him in his life than to lead this team to success and that it will not be the right period for him to leave the Club,” said Wenger.
"I think Cesc has always been torn between his love for Arsenal - that I feel is really genuine – and, something you can understand, the desire to play for the biggest team at the moment in the world. I think both exist in his head.
"But you can only be in if you are completely in. He is the leader of the team. He has to be completely focused and convinced that he wants to stay.
“Some people questioned him last season but I never question his commitment. This guy is a real winner and if he had not the season we expected, it was down to injuries. He played in some games where he was not right completely but he wanted to play and to win.”
The manager revealed he would not keep Fabregas if the player was adamant about his desire to go but the Frenchman was at pains to point out that, if the midfielder does move away, finances would not be a factor.
“We want to keep him and, for us, it's not a question of money,” said Wenger. “We are not here to make the money. We are here to keep our best players. We have managed the Club to be in a position to say 'no'. For any money.
"We have that potential to do it because we are in a healthy financial situation. But on the other hand, you need as well the player wanting to be with you.
“I have heard people say that we do not want to keep Cesc. We are desperate to keep Cesc! And we will fight for everything because you do not educate a player for eight years as we have done only to want him to go once he is at an age to deliver. We want to keep the team together.
“If we wanted to make a money situation and wanted to sell the player, we put him on the market and we ask 'who gives more?' But that would not be the conversation. For us, it's not a question of money. It is a question of Cesc wanting to be with us. And I think he is torn because he loves the Club deeply. But we will fight until the last second to keep him.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source