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May, 18, 2009

Nasri convinced Wenger will stay with Gunners

Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri maintains there is "no question" of manager Arsene Wenger quitting the Premier League club to join Real Madrid in the summer.

The future of the Gunners boss, contracted until 2011, has been called into question following comments made to a French television station that the prospect of linking up with Real Madrid presidential candidate Florentino Perez would be "interesting".

Wenger was first contacted by Perez, who has once again made recruiting the Frenchman one of the cornerstones of his presidential election campaign, four years ago and usually he dismisses any interest by reaffirming his loyalty to Arsenal.

But speaking about Real in an interview on French television programme Telefoot, broadcast by the French channel TF1, the 58-year-old seemed more evasive than usual.

"With Florentino Pérez in charge, the project he has put forward would be ­ interesting for any coach but I would prefer not to comment on this," Wenger said. "In general I usually stay until the end of my contract."

These comments followed on from a questions and answer session with fans during a shareholders forum that left Wenger feeling like he had "killed someone" after a critical response to the club's fourth consecutive season without silverware.

However, the Gunners boss - who transformed the fortunes of the north London club since his arrival in September 1996, winning the title three times and four FA Cups - has long championed the potential of his young squad and Nasri, who joined from Marseille in the summer, has laughed off suggestions Wenger will leave his "project".

"There is no question of him leaving," the 21-year-old said in an interview with Sport365.fr. "I know that he still has a project for two years and he is counting on allowing Arsenal to rediscover its glorious past."

Nasri added: "I am lucky to be managed by someone who trusts me and everything is good with my team-mates, who are top players."

Wenger accepts that he needs to strengthen his squad in the summer transfer window but it remains to be seen what funds he will have available. There are suggestions it could be as little as £15million which must be supplemented by cash from player sales, Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor looking the most likely to leave with AC Milan and Chelsea reportedly interested.

Ajax's £7.5million-rated Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen said to be high on Wenger's shopping list. Paris St Germain centre-half Mamadou Sakho, 19, and Lille's holding midfielder Yohan Cabaye, 23, are other reported targets while interest in Liverpool's Spain international Xabi Alonso is likely to be renewed this summer.

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