Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has warned that the club “cannot” be a team that sells its best players in order to make new signings.
Club captain and top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with just a year remaining on his current contract.
“We don’t know how the market is going to be,” Arteta said on Thursday. “Obviously we are putting different plans together to see what we are going to be able to do.
“At the moment the uncertainty is still big, as well the way we are going to finish the season is going to dictate things financially as well. So we have to be a bit patient and see what happens.
“We’ve seen different things. The way that Chelsea is dealing with the market is different to the rest at the moment, but Bayern Munich as well, they’ve been really aggressive.
“But if you ask me, we cannot be a team that has to sell his player to try and bring in and improve his squad – that’s for sure.”
In the last decade Arsenal have sold several top players to Premier League rivals, while Aaron Ramsey left on a free transfer to join Juventus last summer.
Before the more recent departures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool and Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United, the club lost then-captain and talismanic striker Robin van Persie to United in 2012.
Arteta played alongside Van Persie at Arsenal and believes Aubameyang, who has scored 19 Premier League goals this season, is of similar importance to the side now as the Dutchman was under Arsene Wenger.
“When we played with Robin he used to be the difference for us every week,” Arteta said.