Arsène Wenger is comfortable that Robert Pires might be speaking to Villarreal about a possible move.
The French midfielder is out of contract in the summer and has been able to talk to other parties since January 1. The manager has offered the 33-year-old a contract and wants him to stay. But he is realistic to know any player would explore their options - even one with the Spanish side who host Arsenal in the Champions League Semi-Final second leg next week.
"Of course it can look disturbing," said Wenger at Friday's pre-match press conference. "But I do not think it is because it is always in your interest to perform.
"Robert Pires was born in 1973, arrived at Arsenal in 2000 and has six great years. We are offering him one more great year but he is completely free to speak with whom he wants. I am not shocked by that. I can understand it.
"I just hope that in the end, he will say 'I stay one more year at Arsenal'."
Copyright 2014 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 21 Apr 2006