The Gunners boss is not expecting to part with two experienced performers, but he is bracing himself for a busy summer window
Mikel Arteta remains confident that Bernd Leno and Willian will be at his disposal next season despite speculation suggesting that two experienced performers could sever ties with Arsenal this summer.
Germany international goalkeeper Leno and tricky Brazilian forward Willian are seeing moves away from Emirates Stadium mooted heading into another transfer window.
Both are, however, tied to contracts through to 2023 and Arteta has no plans to part with either as he seeks to help them raise their individual games as part of a greater collective effort.
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What has been said?
The Gunners boss told reporters when quizzed on Willian’s future, with the 32-year-old failing to live up to expectations since completing a switch from Chelsea: “First of all we signed a player with an incredible talent, a proven talent and performance level in this league, and this season has been difficult and I take full responsibility because I have to be the one getting the best out of him and we had moments but not to the level that he did before.
“This is an assessment that we will do individually with the players and with Edu, the board and the ownership to make the right decisions for the future.”
Pressed on whether he expects Willian to remain in north London, Arteta added: “Every player that is under contract is very likely to be here with us next season.”
What about Leno?
The 29-year-old goalkeeper has rubbished claims that he is looking to force his way through the exits at Arsenal, and that is good enough for Arteta.
He added on his established number one: “It’s another one with a contract here that, because of the length of his contract, a lot of things will be speculated on.
“He has two years here and he belongs here.”
Will Arsenal be busy over the summer?
While expecting Willian and Leno to stay put, Arteta admits that a “clear plan” is being drawn up on the transfer front at Arsenal, with the Gunners expecting plenty of movement in and out of the Emirates.
The Spaniard said when asked if he is bracing himself for a busy summer: “Yes, if I have to answer to every question about every possible transfer or what players might be leaving, we will be sitting here for hours.
“What I can say is that we know what we want to do and there is a clear plan to put that together.
“It’s true that there are a lot of decisions to make, because as well we have a lot of players on loan, some of them have to come back and we will see step-by-step and focus on the priorities that we have. Let’s see how much we can do.”
Arsenal, who are in danger of missing out on European qualification as they sit ninth in the Premier League table with two games left to take in, will be back in action on Wednesday when they take in a derby date with London neighbours Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
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