Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits striker Olivier Giroud could leave The Emirates Stadium – but only if a replacement can be found in the final week of the January transfer window.
Giroud had been set for a loan move to Borussia Dortmund as part of the deal to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal, but the Bundesliga side have reportedly curtailed their interest in the 31-year-old.
Though a move for the Gabon forward remains uncertain with Arsenal and Dortmund £20m (€22.8m) apart on their valuation of Aubamayeng, Wenger says only a new addition will lead to the exit of Giroud this month.
"I want Olivier to stay, I just told you that if nobody goes in, nobody goes out," he told the media, according to Sky Sports. "I have consistent exchange with him. We speak about it a lot. He has played a lot of games and scored important goals. He is an important player and every player has a lot of respect for him. He will get more games and can only leave if someone else comes in."
Having played exclusively for Arsenal this season in their cup campaigns, the likes of Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock could all be made available for loan moves in the coming days.
The French boss added: "Maybe one or two young players [will go] out on loan somewhere, [but] the experienced side of the squad will remain the same unless somebody comes in.
Meanwhile, Dortmund have rejected two bids for Aubameyang from Arsenal and negotiations look increasingly likely to end without the player moving to the Premier League. Wenger was coy when asked for an update on the saga, which looks set to run until the transfer deadline on 31 January.
"I cannot tell you more, nothing to announce today," he added. "At the moment we stay where we are. It's still possible but we are far from being close. We will still recruit someone, it's possible.
Reports this week claimed that Arsenal were becoming increasingly confident of retaining Mesut Ozil beyond the end of the season, despite the Germany international having entered the final six months of his contract.
Ozil is permitted to speak to clubs from overseas over a move in the summer and Wenger has reiterated that he wants to keep the former Real Madrid playmaker, and believes an agreement could be imminent.
"Our intention is to keep Ozil at the club," Wenger explained. "Hopefully, we will manage to do that very soon. Not close enough to be optimistic but not far enough to be pessimistic.
"He behaves like somebody who is completely focused and ready to commit but after that contract negotiations are what they are."