Arsène Wenger insisted yesterday that he was still confident about Bacary Sagna's future at Arsenal despite the right-back's criticisms of the direction of the club in a recent interview.
"I had a chat with him about it," Wenger said after Sagna admitted to asking himself questions following Alex Song's departure. "I think that he loves the club and will stay here."
There was a clear warning, though, for any players who are not entirely happy at Arsenal. "I believe any player or any employee has to defend the company he works for," Wenger demanded. "And if he is not completely happy with it he has to go somewhere else. "
Sagna had told L'Equipe Song's exit to Barcelona, so soon after Robin van Persie joined Manchester United was a "surprise". "When you see your two best players from last season leave, you ask yourself questions," Sagna said.
Wenger argued Sagna is happier at Arsenal than those words suggested: "I expect him to stay because the interview does not really reflect what he thinks. That he was disappointed, I can understand. But when you look at the number of players we have in midfield, you can understand that as well."
Sagna is in the penultimate year of his contract. "With Sagna we want to extend his contract," Wenger said. "He is 29, so his contract finishes when he is 31. So we can't give him five years."
The Arsenal manager's own contract is out in 2014 and, despite chief executive Ivan Gazidis saying he will offer Wenger a new deal, the Frenchman is in no rush to sign. "At the moment I'm not in the mood to think about the long-term future," he said.