KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Monday he was confident that star midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri would be at the club next season, despite big money bids from Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Barcelona has reportedly been negotiating with Arsenal for its captain Fabregas, while both Manchester clubs have expressed their desire to sign Nasri, who is in his last year of his contract.
"Our position is always the same — we want to keep Cesc and I will fight as hard as I can to keep him. Samir Nasri is exactly the same. We will do everything we can to keep him," Wenger told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, where Arsenal will play a Malaysian side Wednesday on its Asian tour.
Fabregas was left out of the tour because he is recuperating after a hamstring injury, but Wenger said Nasri's presence in Asia signaled he remained committed to Arsenal.
"I'm confident we can get both of them to stay," Wenger said.
Wenger confirmed that Ivory Coast striker Gervinho has signed from Lille but was not included in the Asian tour lineup.
He added he would not buy a new leftback despite selling Gael Clichy to Manchester City.
"I already have Thomas Vermaelen, Armand Traore and Kieran Gibbs in the squad. There is no need to buy a leftback at this time," said Wenger.
Wenger said he was happy that Arsenal was visiting Asia for the first time in more than a decade. "It is good to come to Asia. We haven't been here since 1999. That is a long time," he said.
"We will have a new experience over here. The players are tired as we just arrived, but at this stage of the season, it is all about getting them fit for the new season."