Wenger hopeful over keeping Fabregas and Nasri

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The Independent Online

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal "do not need to change our philosophy" and sees no reason why captain Cesc Fabregas and contract rebel Samir Nasri should not want to be a part of the squad again next season.

The Gunners - who have confirmed the signing of Ivory Coast forward Gervinho from Lille in what is understood to be an £11million deal - today arrived in Kuala Lumpur for the first leg of their Asia tour with questions surrounding the future of two key players, and indeed over the whole direction of the club.



Wenger, though, remains defiant that the current group of players can return stronger from another barren season which imploded after a shock defeat to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final to finally deliver in 2012.



"We have developed the team, who I think are capable to compete at the top level in the world now," Wenger said.



"This team is getting mature, strong and we do not need to change our philosophy.



"We have to even be better in what we want to do.



"We are an offensive football team and want to be better in our offensive game than we have been, to continue to develop it and be stronger in what we want to do."



Wenger added: "My plan is of course to continue to develop Arsenal and make Arsenal one of the main forces in the world. We are slowly getting into a position of doing it.



"The club has developed very well in the last 10 years with the structures and qualities of the team.



"We are very close. The season did not finish in a good way for us, but that should strengthen the resolve of the players and the staff to come back and say we know we can do it and that this season we will.



"On the other hand, we will be faithful to what we think is the strength of our club, the quality of our football, the value of the club and remain faithful to the way we manage the club."



Fabregas did not travel with the rest of the squad which jetted into Malaysia ahead of Wednesday's friendly as he nurses a troublesome hamstring problem amid continued reports of a £30m move back to Barcelona.



Wenger, however, remains optimistic the Spain World Cup winner will continue to lead the team forward next season.



"I have never spoken about what has happened behind closed doors but Cesc loves the club," the Arsenal boss said.



"We know the Barcelona story goes on for years now and we have to close that. Now we focus on the new season, hopefully with Cesc Fabregas."



Nasri has yet to commit his long-term future to the Gunners, and reports suggest both Manchester United and Manchester City would be prepared to double his wages with a £25m swoop.



"There is always speculation when a player has one year to go on his contract that he might leave the club," Wenger said, "but Samir Nasri is very happy at the club and committed to stay.



"I hope he will sign a new contract, but I am not the only one to decide that."



Striker Nicklas Bendtner, who looks set for Borussia Dortmund, and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia also did not travel, and Wenger confirmed both were "possible departures".



While the Arsenal boss maintained he was not looking for cover at left-back following Gael Clichy's £7m move to Manchester City, Arsenal are expected to bring in another centre-half, with both Bolton's Gary Cahill and Germany international Per Mertesacker, currently at Werder Bremen, reported targets.



Wenger, meanwhile, feels Gervinho, 24, will add another attacking outlet.



"He was the most efficient player in the French League with assists and goalscoring," said the Gunners boss.



Arsenal will play a Malaysia XI before then heading out to China on what is seen as an important commercial drive for the Emirates Stadium club.



Wenger said: "We know how important it is to develop or name in Asia and to meet people who follow us for the whole season.



"I think we have found a good balance with not disturbing the balance physically."

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