By Chris Harris
"You should read our website," suggested Arsène Wenger when the question of Freddie Ljungberg's future was raised at his pre-match press conference.
The Frenchman told Arsenal.com on Thursday that the Swede "still has a lot to offer us" but reports linking Ljungberg with a move refused to go away. Wenger finally killed those rumours stone dead on Friday.
"Freddie will stay here," insisted the Arsenal manager. "I made a statement on our website that Freddie is and will be part of our squad. He knows that and I have clarified that with him this week."
Wenger admitted that Ljungberg had been uncertain about his future but, as far as the Frenchman is concerned, the 29-year-old still offers something unique in midfield.
"You know there is competition here for every position and when you see vibes coming out of the newspapers you wonder 'is that being provoked by the club where I am, is it by my agent, is it provoked by the club who wants to buy me?'
"I needed to have a clear chat with him to see how he feels, whether he accepts competition for places. He does and he is ready for that.
"It has been frustrating for him because of injuries but we are a Club who can afford that. We have a number of players but when Freddie is fit he is a winner, he is a big-game player.
"He still has a big part to play here. I think he gives us something that no one else does, he makes runs from midfield behind the defenders while the other players come to the ball. It is an interesting asset to have in your team."
Copyright 2015 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 12 Jan 2007