“Yes, we’re reading a lot of news about our players which is not bad that other clubs want him but with Ainsley, he’s a player that I’ve said since I joined that I really like,” our head coach said.
“The best way to show that is that I have played him in the most important games of the season and he responded really well, so that’s where we are with the player. “I am always open to listening to what the player is feeling at every stage of their career and then I can give them my opinion of how I see them, what I expect from them and if we have the right understanding, then we have to move forward together.
“If there is something that doesn’t work then we have to assess it with the player and the club and then find the right decision for both of them.”
What about Matteo Guendouzi, another midfielder linked with a departure this summer?
“I have been really clear that everybody starts from zero all the time in football,” Arteta said. “What you did two weeks ago or two years ago doesn’t really matter. It’s what you are able to contribute to the team now.
“Everybody is going to have the same opportunities. They’ll have to show with their performances and their attitude that they are better than their team-mates or somehow contributing to what we want to achieve this season.
“Yes [I have spoken to him]… to tell him exactly that he’s going to be part of the team and at the moment he’s like any other player in our squad. He deserves first of all to be treated exactly the same and I will do that to my best capability.”