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Last Updated: Monday, 16 July 2007, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
Wenger expects Ljungberg to stay
Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg
Ljungberg has made more than 300 appearances for Arsenal
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has rejected suggestions Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg is close to leaving the club.

The 30-year-old was reported to be in talks with Italian side Fiorentina over a prospective move after seeming to slip down the Gunners pecking order.

He struggled with injury last term and played just 26 games, but Wenger believes the midfielder will stay.

"I expect him to be here at the start of the campaign because he has not left yet," said Wenger.

Ljungberg is the longest-serving player at the club having signed from Halmstads in a 3m deal in 1998.

And Wenger would be loath to lose such experience after seeing captain Thierry Henry leave for Barcelona.

Wenger added: "The Freddie case is a bit different than it was for Thierry. If he had wanted to go we would have let him go. But I am happy that he stays."

606: DEBATE
Laughing at Potatoes

Ljungberg has also been linked with moves to Premier League rivals West Ham and Manchester City.

But when Fiorentina expressed an interest earlier in the summer Ljungberg's agent Claes Elefalk emphasised the Sweden international was happy in north London.

And Wenger said in January that he wanted to keep Ljungberg, who has a contract to stay at the club until 2009.

Ljungberg has made more than 300 appearances for Arsenal, scoring more than 70 goals for the club.

He became the first player to score in successive FA Cup finals for 40 years with goals in both the 2001 and 2002 finals at Cardiff.



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