I expect Fabregas to stay with us, insists Wenger

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger has told Cesc Fabregas that he would have no guarantee of winning trophies should he leave Arsenal this summer. Wenger said he would "fight" to keep Fabregas but reminded him that "the biggest pride for a captain is to be committed to his club", rather than leaving in frustration.

Fabregas was the subject of serious interest from Barcelona last summer. After another trophyless season at the Emirates Stadium, Wenger acknowledged that he would have to work hard to keep the Spaniard at Arsenal for next season. He was confident, though, of repelling suitors again this summer. "I expect him to be here as well," he said. "I will fight very hard to keep him here. You have always to fight when you have a player of that quality, you must always fight to keep your players, of course."

When it was suggested that Fabregas might leave in pursuit of trophies, though, Wenger warned his captain that success was not guaranteed at any other club, and predicted that anything he won at Arsenal would be even sweeter should he stay loyal to the club. "What guarantees you that if you go somewhere else you will win trophies?" he asked. "The biggest pride for a captain is to be committed to his club and deliver trophies with his team. A player who changes his club every time he is frustrated or when he doesn't win a trophy, goes nowhere. I believe the quality of sports life is to be committed to his club."

Arsenal's failure to win a trophy is even more frustrating given their strong position in February. They were in the Carling Cup final, but after losing that to Birmingham their form collapsed, they were knocked out of the FA Cup and Champions League and have fallen to fourth in the Premier League. While denying the year was a failure, Wenger admitted it was a "big frustration".

"We have the feeling that we were very close in all the competitions and we missed out on very little," Wenger said. "We cannot say we are happy but as well we cannot say that it is a disaster. Overall I think that's the closest we have been to winning the championship in recent years and that's why it's even more frustrating because if you look at the way we lost the games in the decisive moments, it's sure that we need to add some maturity."