Wenger expects Fabregas stay

Wenger has vowed to “fight very hard” to keep Gunners captain

Fabregas and other key men at the Emirates Stadium next season –

but warned there is no guarantee of success if they chose to move

elsewhere. Arsenal are heading for a sixth campaign without

silverware following a dramatic collapse after losing the Carling

Cup final to Birmingham at Wembley 12 weeks ago. Indeed, Arsenal

are no longer guaranteed Champions League football next season as

they have slipped down behind FA Cup winners Manchester City into

fourth place ahead of the final match of the Premier League season

at Fulham on Sunday, meaning they may have to go through the

qualifiers. Wenger is expected to bring in some experience over the

summer to help give his young squad, but will also face another

couple of months fending off speculation Fabregas, a perennial

target for boyhood club Barcelona, is to leave. The Arsenal

manager, though, once again cut down that suggestion – and insisted

a move to the Nou Camp or anywhere else would not automatically

bring medals. “I expect him to be here, and I will fight very hard

to keep him here,” said Wenger. “You have always to fight when you

have a player of that quality. You must always fight to keep your

players.” Wenger warned his stars the grass might not necessarily

be greener away from the Emirates Stadium. He said: “What

guarantees you that if you go somewhere else you will win trophies?

“The biggest pride for a captain is to be committed to his club and

deliver trophies with his team. “A player who changes his club

every time he is frustrated or when he doesn’t win a trophy, goes

nowhere. “I believe the quality of sports life is to be committed

to your club and not just to move out when it does not go as well

as you expected.” Wenger added: “Cesc Fabregas played 22 games this

season out of 38 and we expect him to play between 30 and 38. That

will make a huge difference to our efficiency [next season] as

well.” If City win at Bolton, Arsenal will finish fourth, no matter

what their result at Craven Cottage. While Wenger believes his men

should have nothing to fear from a two-legged play-off in August,

he accepted: “There is a massive difference between third and

fourth. “Fourth is to play a qualifier for the Champions League –

that is not Champions League football. Third is guaranteeing to be

in it. “We will try to win against Fulham. A draw could be good

enough if City lose. “I do not want to have any regrets and just

want to win the game.” While Wenger has confirmed Arsenal, with a

reported £35million war chest, will be set for a busy summer

in the transfer market, the Gunners boss is not to be drawn on

potential targets – having been strongly linked with Blackburn

defender Christopher Samba, Bolton’s England centre-half Gary

Cahill and West Ham midfielder Scott Parker. “There is a huge

potential in the team, but in the decisive moments of the season we

were not efficient enough,” Wenger said. “The way we lost some

games is something we have to correct for next season.” On whether

players would want to join Arsenal rather than one of their

big-spending rivals, Wenger added: “If you speak only about money,

we are certainly less attractive than some other teams. “However,

if you speak about the quality of the club and the style of play,

we have many offers on the table for players who are desperate to

join us.” Arsenal will again be without captain Fabregas, because

of a thigh problem, while midfielder Samir Nasri (hamstring), Abou

Diaby (calf) and Gael Clichy (leg) all face fitness tests ahead of

the trip to west London.