Wenger rejects Hleb reports
Arsene Wenger has dismissed Alexander Hleb's agent, claiming the player will not leave Arsenal.
Last Updated: 09/05/08 2:10pm
Arsene Wenger has rejected out of hand reports that have suggested Alexander Hleb is to follow in Mathieu Flamini's footsteps and quit Arsenal.
The talented Belarus international has long since been linked with a move to Internazionale, with his agent Nikolai Shpilevski having been quoted on Friday morning as saying his client 'is leaving' Emirates Stadium this summer.
Wenger has previously reacted angrily to rumoured interest from the Italians, even claiming he might report them for 'tapping up' the former Stuttgart player.
But he has insisted on Friday that there was no reason to suspect that Hleb would not be playing for the London club next season.
Asked if there had been any developments, Wenger told Arsenal TV: "Frankly, no.
"You cannot stop people talking but at the moment there is nothing (to discuss).
"I believe that usually all the players want to stay, and I expect this team to say 'let's make a pact together, come back next year and win'.
"That's what I expect them to do and my priority is to keep the team together, add what I think can help us to even be better and then see from there."
Arsenal have received criticism from some quarters over their inability to keep Flamini in the capital but Wenger insists the club did everything in their power to persuade the Frenchman to stay.
Asked if everything possible had been done to keep the Frenchman, Wenger said: "Yes. I believe that even Mathieu would concede that.
"We put him in the bracket of where we could go (financially, with a contract offer), and we made him that offer, but unfortunately it wasn't enough.
"We have to accept that because Mathieu was a good servant of the club for four years and he came without costing any transfer fee and left without costing any transfer fee, so he was free to go."
Wenger does not believe that Flamini's exit means a central midfielder must be brought in this summer, citing Denilson, Abou Diaby and Alex Song as possible replacements.
He is also hopeful that Brazilian Gilberto may still be at the club next term.
"I personally would like him to stay but he has to make a decision on that - I want him to feel comfortable," concluded Wenger.
"I like Gilberto and since he has been playing again he has shown how good he is as a player, but we will see."