Arsene Wenger does not plan on allowing Olivier Giroud to leave Arsenal before the end of the season and insists the club remain in talks with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez over new contracts.
Giroud, 31, joined Manchester United great Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the Premier League's most successful 'super-sub' on Sunday [10 December], scoring for the 17th time off the bench to rescue a late draw for the Gunners at Southampton.
But having not started a Premier League match all season, the France international has opened the door to a possible move away from north London in January, fearful his time on the bench will hamper his chances of nailing down a first-team role for France at next summer's World Cup.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Wednesday's clash against West Ham United, Wenger insisted the former Montpellier star remains an important member of his team, and while he would not disclose the details of his recent conversations with the player, insists he wants him to stay.
"[Giroud] is not a sub for me, he is a regular player. I have plenty of good strikers and you cannot play them all together," Wenger told reporters.
"I speak to all my players, it is very difficult to speak about what we talk about [behind closed doors]. He is a very important player, I am an admirer of Giroud, if you look at his career you look at how many French caps he has won while he has been here, I can understand his frustration, but it is part of the job at a big club."
While Wenger hopes to keep the player, he was unable to rule out a January move.
"Personally I want him to stay until end of the season then we will see."
Arsenal also have some big decisions to make over Ozil and Sanchez, who are weeks away from entering the final six months of their respective contracts at the club. The Gunners will have the chance to cash in on the duo during the January window, with Manchester City said to be readying another offer for the Chile international with Manchester United and Barcelona circling around Ozil.
Wenger insisted the club have not reached a stage where there is a 'take it or leave' deal on the table for Ozil, claiming there is still time for an agreement to be met.
"Negotiations are always going on with everyone whether they have two years to go [on their contract], one year to go or three months ago. Our door is always open."