Press conference

Wenger gives the latest on Ox and Alexis’ futures

With just a week to go until transfer deadline day, Arsene Wenger was quizzed about the futures of two members of his first team on Thursday.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis entering the final years of their contracts, there has been a lot of speculation about them.

This is what the boss had to say:

on whether he has a meeting with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain…
We all have our agendas that are quite busy but we do not publish them. Some people look better informed than I am! My secretary has my agenda, I will check what I have to do today.

on whether the Ox has indicated whether he wants to stay…
All these conversations that I have [I say] that I want him to stay and be one of the big players of the future of this club. He is one of the players this team has to be built around in the future. Personally I want him to commit to the club and to be one of the carrier of the values of our team.

on whether there have been any bids for the Ox…
I know every bid we have of course but the best for us is to focus on Sunday.

on if he’d sell him to Chelsea…
I want to keep my best players. I only have one target: to keep everybody on board. I think we invested a lot of time, confidence and money on players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who we bought at a young age. For me, they have a responsibility for the future of this club because Alex will be one of the big English players in the coming years. I personally am highly determined to keep him here at the club and I hope he will commit.

on Alexis’ attitude…
He has always been focused on his job, he loves to play football and I don’t think he is too disturbed by all the [external] noises that happen. Players at that level are used to it now, some deal better with it than others but I don’t think he is too bothered by that.

on if he is happy to stay…
He is very focused, very happy and as I told you before, the fact that he goes into the last year of his contract does not mean we have no chance to extend it. At the moment we have not managed to do it, but we just want to focus as a team and not look too much at the individual conditions of the contracts of everybody because what is important is what you want to achieve forever.

on not giving up on extending his deal…
Let’s not go too far, let’s focus on Sunday.

on whether Alexis will travel with Chile…
Yes, of course. Chile are at an important part of their qualifiers, they are not through yet and he is available to travel to Chile.

on whether he will be an Arsenal player when he comes back…
Yes.

on how much harder it is to keep hold of Alexis with inflated transfer fees…
I had to deal many times in my life with big departures, big players. I always focused more on the team and to deal with all the rest. No matter what, Arsenal and the team is important. Of course you want to keep your best players but you always think if it happens you have to find a way to survive at the top level and to find a way to make the team efficient. You don’t focus too much on individual players, you focus more on how the team can be strong enough to deal with what can happen.