There was an initial whiff of mischief from Arsene Wenger when he was asked whether Alexis Sanchez's comments that he wanted to stay in London but play for a team "with a winning mentality" meant the Arsenal striker was prepared to move to Chelsea.
"There's only one team in London, so he's happy," Wenger said. Undoubtedly, after his two decades in charge, and his dogged, almost singular, insistence that he can make Arsenal great again - and because of which he will sign a two-year contract extension - Wenger still believes.
"I think personally he's happy here," he maintained, even if all the indications are that Sanchez's preference is to leave.
"I hope that he will stay at the club but overall you have to be very cautious when people give interviews in their home countries," Wenger said.
Ah, that old chestnut. Sanchez was speaking on international duty, with Chile, and although his words are open to interpretation, Arsenal know they face a fight to persuade him to stay.
"I don't see anything in that - he said he wants to win the championship, that's what everybody wants. I can understand that completely," Wenger argued while intimating that the club is prepared for both Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to go into the final year of their contracts.
"They are not out of contract at the end of the season. I personally believe that both of them want to stay and I hope that the club will find an agreement with them."
Contract talk also centres on Wenger's future and there was an incremental update on his statement after the defeat to West Brom that he has made his mind up: in other words, although those words were not quite prised out of him, he is staying.
"Not today," Wenger said when asked. "But I am clear in my mind."
Wenger confirmed that Santi Cazorla is out for the season and that Petr Cech will miss Sunday's home clash with Manchester City. (© Daily Telegraph, London)