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Senegal through but lose pair to suspension

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By ESPN Staff

It will be hard to leave Arsenal, claims Hleb

Alexander Hleb admits he will find it hard if he leaves Arsenal during the summer, after refuting suggestions of rifts with manager Arsene Wenger and team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

The Belarus international has been consistently linked with a transfer and Barcelona are current favourites to sign the midfielder, despite rumoured interest from Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

And although he appears to favour a change of scene, the 27-year-old is eager to dismiss any suggestion of ill-feeling at Emirates Stadium.

'I am very grateful to Arsene Wenger. He is the best coach of my career. And not just a coach. He is a very good man and intuitive psychologist. I very much appreciate his support,' he told Tut.

'I talked to him twice before the end of the season (about my future). It is also not that easy for me to leave this club, because it has become my home. I think he (Wenger) is upset, though it is better to ask him, maybe he is glad.'

Hleb added: 'In life, everything changes. I believe that there are 10 top clubs in world football, and when a couple of clubs are interested in you and offer better terms, I believe that others would have done exactly the same.

'But Arsenal is dear to me, I am grateful to Wenger for everything he has done for me.

'As an Arsenal player, I can say that there is no better club in the English Premiership.'

Hleb, 27, also sought to clarify his relationship with Fabregas, insisting the pair get on well after reports that he had branded the Spain midfielder 'selfish'.

'Cesc and I understand each other very well on the field. And it is very, very pleasurable for me to play with him,' he said.

'He's a very pleasant guy both in life and as a footballer. He is just more egoistic in goalscoring opportunities, if he had a chance to score, he always used it, unlike me.'

Another Gunners star linked with a summer move, striker Emmanuel Adebayor, could be set to remain with the north London club.

The Togo star has been attracting interest from AC Milan but Arsenal's valuation of the player, thought to be in the region of £36million, appears to have scuppered any chances of a quick deal.

The Rossoneri have also looked at Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o but Milan vice-president insists nothing is imminent.

'I have had contact with Wenger and right now we are divided on an important difference in terms of value of the player,' Galliani said.

Of his two striking targets, he added: 'They are both great forwards. But they could both remain where they are.'

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