By Chris Harris

Respecting your contract and giving your all are the twin pillars of loyalty in football, according to Arsène Wenger.

The subject of player allegiance is never far from the surface in football and it rose again on Friday after news filtered through that Wayne Rooney had renegotiated a new five-year deal at Manchester United despite seeming set to leave Old Trafford.

Wenger admitted at his pre-match press conference that he was “always in negotiations” with players. When pressed for his own definition of loyalty, contracts were central to his reply.

“Respect your contract,” said Wenger.

“Complete loyalty would be to play for free if a club cannot pay you anymore.

“But I believe the real loyalty is to respect your contract as long as you stay at the club, never renegotiate when you have a contract and play until the last day of your commitment with full commitment. That is full loyalty.

“You know that when you work and tomorrow you will go somewhere else, but on the last day you give 100 per cent for your club, that is real loyalty.”

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22 Oct 2010