By Nick Teale
Arsène Wenger has put contract talks with William Gallas on hold so that he can focus on forthcoming fixtures. However, the Frenchman is confident the centre-back will be an Arsenal player next season.
Gallas is out of contract in the summer but talks are ongoing to renew his deal.
But with important Premier League matches and both legs of the Champions League Quarter-Final with Barcelona to come over the next few weeks, Wenger has turned his attention to strictly on-pitch matters.
"There is no update [on Gallas' contract talks]," said Wenger at his pre-match press conference on Thursday. "In the next two or three weeks we will not deal with any contract because we have games every three days and we will focus on our targets.
"I feel we are winning the battle to keep him but in this domain you have to be open and be ready for anything.
"He is in a position where he is free to sign for anybody he wants and tomorrow somebody could come up and offer him a massive amount of money and I don’t know if he will sign or not.
"He knows we want to keep him and that we make an effort but it has to be, as it always has been historically, within our set budget."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