Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has reiterated the need for the club to keep hold of their best player - as speculation over the future of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang mounts.
The Gunners have endured another frustrating season both domestically and in Europe, and are likely to miss out on Champions League qualification once more.
"If you ask me, we cannot be a team that has to sell its best player to try to bring in and improve our squad" Mikel Arteta.
Aubameyang, however, as continued to play a starring role for the club, scoring 19 Premier League goals in the 30 games that he has played. Form like that, inevitably, has seen his future at the struggling Gunners called into question, with speculation rife that the 31-year-old will look to engineer a move away while he's still able to compete at the highest level.
But Arteta, speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal's Premier League clash with high-flying Wolves, insists that the club can only move forward if they improve their squad, rather than parting ways with their most valuable asset.
"If you ask me, we cannot be a team that has to sell its best player to try to bring in and improve our squad, that's for sure," Arteta began, in quotes carried by MailOnline Sport.
"We don't know how the market is going to be. We are pulling different plans together to see what we are going to be able to do. At the moment, the uncertainty is still big. The way we are going to finish the season will dictate a lot of things financially as well. We have to be a bit patient.
Speaking about Aubameyang specifically, Pep Guardiola's former assistant manager added: "The way that I communicate with him, the conversations that I have with him and the people around him. It is the energy I sense. It is just my opinion.
"Things change in football very quickly but... in this moment I feel that he wants to continue with us. He needs to feel he belongs somewhere that he believes we can achieve (his) goals... he is loved, respected and admired by his team-mates, which is a huge thing to have at any football club.
"That's what gives me positivity, as well because I see the enjoyment he is having, the work-rate that he puts in all the time."
Qualifying for the Europa League at the very least would appear to be essential if Arsenal want to persuade Aubameyang into seeing out his contract, which expires next summer.
But on paper, the Gunners have a tricky run of fixtures between now and the end of the season - with successive games against Leicester, Tottenham and Liverpool following their tricky visit to Molineux this weekend.
Source : 90min