Jeremie Aliadiere wants to stay at Arsenal and fight for his first-team place - and Arsène Wenger wants to keep him.
The French striker has been linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium but he insists his priority is to establish himself at the Club he joined in 1999 as a 16-year-old.
"I never said I wanted to leave the Club," Aliadiere told Arsenal.com. "All I said was that I wanted to play. That's my priority. I want to play football.
"I want to be involved every weekend but I haven't played a lot in the last six months since I came back from my loan last season. Obviously if I can't play here then I will have to play somewhere else, but Arsenal is my priority.
"There's a lot of competition, a lot of great players and it's really hard to get your place in there but I think every time I've got the opportunity to play I've done my best and in training every day as well. That's all I can do."
Aliadiere did his prospects no harm whatsoever with an outstanding performance in the Carling Cup at Anfield on Tuesday. He scored one goal, won a penalty and set up three of Julio Baptista's quartet in that incredible 6-3 victory over Liverpool.
Aliadiere's excellence did not go unnoticed. Wenger sympathises with his compatriot's plight but he wants the 23-year-old to remain in a pool of strikers which also includes Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor.
"Players like Aliadiere are sometimes difficult to keep because I cannot give him the number of games he wants and deserves," said Wenger at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
"But I do not want to lose him because I have worked for seven years with him now. He is a super player and I do not want to sell him. He does not want to go on loan, he wants to play somewhere and I can understand that.
"He has three more years on his contract and I hope he will see that out."
12 Jan 2007