Arsene Wenger is confident captain Cesc Fabregas will stay at Arsenal for “a few more years”.
Fabregas, who emerged through Barcelona’s academy, was the subeject of a bid from his former club last summer, but Arsenal rejected their advances and the player agreed to remain in London.
Barca are expected to return with a new bid next summer and many believe Fabregas will push for a return to Spain.
“He is from Barcelona and has an attraction to where he grew up,” Wenger told the club’s AGM on Thursday. “At the end of the day, I believe he wants to win with this club.
“For how long I don’t know, but hopefully for many, many years. I’m not pessimistic. I’m confident we will keep him for a few more years.
“It is a natural case of a player who loves this club – and he loves Arsenal deeply, believe me. If he did not love this club, he would have gone.”
Arsenal have faced criticism this season for failing to win four of their opening eight games in the Premier League, but they are still in contention for four trophies.
Wenger, who vowed to continue at the “club of my heart and my life”, believes the current squad is capable of success.
“I see a real opportunity to have great achievements this season – we have the spirit, talent, hunger and desire,” he said. “I do not say there are no weaknesses, we are conscious of that, but we work very hard.
“We are fans, we love the club – we want to get higher than last year. The only way we can do this is to trust the players and get behind them.
“They have great potential, but we live in a very fragile business, where it is very difficult to be consistent. What we want now is to get that little bit extra which makes us winners – and we are ready for it.
“We will go for every single competition with every resource we have and we will give absolutely everything.”