By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger is highly sceptical over quotes attributed to Andrey Arshavin that suggested the Russian midfielder had his heart set on a move to Barcelona.
This week the 28-year-old was reported to have said it would be the “pinnacle of his career” to play for the Spanish champions at some point. However at his press conference on Thursday afternoon, the Arsenal manager said these words were not supported by Arshavin’s actions.
In fact Wenger believes the player’s real feelings may have been lost in translation.
"Yes, I’m very disappointed [by this story] because he shows a completely different attitude [to me],” said the manager. “He wants to extend his contract with us and stay with us so the noise coming out of Russia is very difficult to explain. He looks to be very happy here.
"You should ask him where it comes from,” Wenger told journalists. “Usually you have direct access to him, you can ask him where that comes from. I don’t forbid you to talk to him. But I take with a little bit of distance what comes back translated sometimes with the help of some agents who want to move the players.
"I think everybody has the freedom to speak but you want to make sure first of all that you respect your club. I just put a question mark on the things that come back translated.”
However while the authenticity of the quotes were in doubt, Wenger made it clear he would not tolerate any player expressing a desire to leave so openly.
“We do not of course accept that,” he said. “When you are at Arsenal you are at Arsenal. When you are somewhere else you are somewhere else. I believe that your pride mean that first you defend your club."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