Gallas insists he won't be leaving Arsenal

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The Independent Online

William Gallas maintains he has no intentions of leaving Arsenal this summer.

The veteran defender, 32 in August, has endured something of a difficult spell since arriving from Chelsea two years ago.

Manager Arsene Wenger eventually replaced Gallas as captain with Cesc Fabregas following public criticism of the young squad and reports of a bust-up with centre-half partner Kolo Toure.

However, somewhat ironically, the Frenchman then went on to produce a string of consistent displays as the Gunners found some form over the latter part of the campaign before missing the closing weeks because of injury.

Gunners boss Wenger, though, continued to give Gallas his full support, denying suggestions Gallas had played his last game for the Gunners.

The arrival of young Belgian Thomas Vermaelen have seen rumours of a summer move to Italy and reunion with his old Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan.

However, Gallas insists he is fully focused on the new campaign ahead with the Gunners.

"I am at Arsenal, my contract is still valid for a year, so I am an Arsenal player," Gallas said on www.skysports.com.

"We have not talked about renewing the contract, but I am relaxed and looking forward to next season with Arsenal."

Wenger remains keen to further strengthen his squad before the new campaign, which will see Arsenal face a qualification play-off to reach the lucrative group stages of the Champions League.

Brazilian holding midfielder Felipe Melo had been strongly linked with a switch from Fiorentina, only to then sign a new contract with the Serie A club.

Udinese's Gokhan Inler is another midfielder on Wenger's radar, the Gunners manager having been considering a move this time last season.

While Arsenal look set to retain the services of sought-after skipper Fabregas, set for extra recovery time following the Confederations Cup, and Robin van Persie, last season's top scorer, the future of Emmanuel Adebayor is yet to be resolved one way or another - with AC Milan continuing their interest.

Manchester City, meanwhile, remain keen on Toure, who handed in a transfer request at the start of the year before then settling back into the side.

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