It must be the end of the season. Cesc Fabregas is being linked with a move away from Arsenal.
The Gunners captain, as ever, is expected by many to leave the club this summer with a move to boyhood team Barcelona being discussed again.
However, Arsene Wenger is in no mood to sell as he looks to improve his squad and will do everything he can to hold onto his man.
The Frenchman said: “I expect him to be here, and I will fight very hard to keep him here. You have always to fight when you have a player of that quality. You must always fight to keep your players.”
Wenger’s cause will of course not have been helped by the fact that Arsenal’s season took a dramatic turn for the worse after losing the Carling Cup final to Birmingham in February.
Since that day, they crashed out of the FA Cup and Champions League and in the Premier League, they dropped to 4th position having been title contenders for the majority.
This means that there is no guarantee of Champions League football next season; again, this is something that won’t help keep hold of Fabregas.
Wenger was keen to defend his team though, saying a move elsewhere wouldn’t necessearily be of benefit to the Spaniard or for any other player perhaps wanting out.
He said: “What guarantees you that if you go somewhere else you will win trophies? The biggest pride for a captain is to be committed to his club and deliver trophies with his team.”
“A player who changes his club every time he is frustrated or when he doesn't win a trophy, goes nowhere.”
It certainly is crucial for Arsenal that they hold onto their skipper. They want to be searching for players, perhaps wearing adidas Football Boots, to play alongside him rather than for his replacement.
Overall, it is an extremely important summer for the club with one of the main tasks being to keep hold of Fabregas and build a team around him.