Arsène Wenger hopeful Bacary Sagna will extend Arsenal contract despite criticism over departures of Robin van Persie and Alex Song


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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger remains hopeful Bacary Sagna will extend his stay at Arsenal - but warned any club employee must always “defend the company he works for”.

The France defender is currently close to a return from a broken leg suffered at the end of last season.

Sagna recently voiced his concerns in a French newspaper interview following the sales of captain Robin van Persie and midfielder Alex Song, as well as the desire to secure trophies like former team-mates Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri have done since moves to Manchester City.

The 29-year-old, signed from Auxerre in 2008, also revealed, despite heading towards the final season of his current deal in 2013, discussions had not yet started on an extension.

While Wenger is not overly concerned over Sagna's situation, the Gunners boss issued a stern statement to any player unhappy with life at Emirates Stadium.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League game against Southampton, the Arsenal manager said: "I had a chat with Sagna about it. I think he loves the club and will stay here.

"I believe any player or any employee always had to defend the company he works for - and if he is not completely happy with it then he has to go somewhere else.

"That is basically what I think, and that is what I say to everybody."

Wenger revealed Arsenal would soon look to open contract negotiations, to avoid a repeat of what happened with Van Persie, while talks over Theo Walcott's long-term future continue.

"It will be discussed, yes," said Wenger.

"I expect him to stay and I want him to stay.

"The interview does not really reflect at all what he thinks about the club, and the love he has for this club because he has always shown total commitment on the football pitch - for the team and the club.

"That is much more important than a little bit twisted article in the newspaper."

Sagna could return to action by the end of the month, having been sidelined since the start of May after fracturing his right fibula against Norwich, which ruled the full-back out of Euro 2012.

"His fitness is quite good, I believe he is two or three weeks away," said Wenger.