LONDON, October 21 – Arsene Wenger has made a fresh pledge to keep Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal beyond the end of this season.
Wenger won his battle to stop Fabregas joining Barcelona during the close-season even though the Gunners captain had made it clear he wanted to return to the club where he started his career.
Although Fabregas, 23, is contracted to Arsenal until 2014, he would still love to join the Catalan outfit, who are likely to make a renewed bid for the Spain midfielder next year.
Wenger knows how much Barcelona means to Fabregas, but the French coach is confident he will be able to persuade his prize asset to stay for a few more years.
"He is from Barcelona and has an attraction to where he grew up," Wenger told shareholders at Arsenal’s AGM on Thursday.
"At the end of the day, I believe he wants to win with this club. For how long I don’t know but hopefully for many, many years. I’m not pessimistic. I’m confident we will keep him for a few more years.
"He deeply loves this club, believe me. If he did not love the club, he would have gone."
Wenger also told shareholders at the AGM that he could make signings in the January transfer window, but refused to be drawn on a potential bid for unsettled Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, descrivbing the situation as "too sensitive".
Wenger also made it clear he still retains his hunger for the game despite his team’s dispiriting run of five years without a major trophy.
"I have to consider that this is a job that demands huge physical energy and as long as I have it I know I will have the desire," he said.
"This is the club of my heart, the club of my life, and as long as I can contribute to help this club to be successful I will do it."