Arsene Wenger made light of this summer’s first enquiry about possible departures but he must have known it was coming.

With speculation over Alexis and Olivier Giroud flying around in the media, it was pretty much inevitable that the boss would be asked about them when he faced the media in Sydney on Tuesday.




Here’s how he responded:

on whether Alexis will stay…
That’s a question I didn’t expect today! The pressure starts again – the first press conference and we are there! We’ll see. The players have contracts and we expect them to respect their contracts, and that’s what we want. It’s a continuity of what I said at the end of last season. That’s what we will do.

on how tough is it to keep someone in the final year of their contract…
It is just [important] to make up your mind. The easiest way to manage a player in the final year of their contract is in his interest to do as well as he can. Nobody knows today if Alexis will be in the final year of his contract this season, because he can extend as well with us at the start of the season or during the season, so it is not necessarily the last year of his contract at Arsenal Football Club.




on Olivier Giroud…
We extended his contract last year so our resolution is to keep him here, because we extended his contract. He has a great value to the squad and I think as well he is a great lover of the club. He loves the club and has always been very determined to stay.

on whether he will keep all his strikers…
I don’t know yet. It’s always the same problem – when you have only one striker, people ask why you don’t buy another one. When you have two or three, they say that they will be unhappy because you have too much competition. That’s part of the job. We are in a job where we are very lucky to do what we love but as well we have chosen a competitive job, that means the players have to accept competition and my decisions as well, unfortunately!