Arsene Wenger concedes that Alexis Sanchez is likely to leave Arsenal, but he remains optimistic regarding a new contract for Mesut Ozil.
The Gunners have seen speculation surrounding two key figures cast an unwelcome shadow over their efforts in 2017-18.
Both Sanchez and Ozil have been heavily linked with moves elsewhere as their respective deals run down, with Manchester rivals City and United leading the chase for their signature.
Wenger had been hoping to avoid sanctioning the sale of either, but he has now admitted that at least one of the duo could be heading for the exits.
“It looks like Sanchez will not extend his contract,” the Frenchman told reporters when offering his latest update in a long-running saga.
“But we want to keep Jack [Wilshere] and if we have an opportunity maybe to keep Ozil, the rebuild will be less deep than if all the three left.
“It is not as black and white as it was. There is still an opportunity for him to stay.
“Talks are very much still alive. Am I more optimistic than in the summer? Yes.
“He’s won trophies with us. So he wants to fight as well for the Premier League, that’s normal, when you are at that level.
“These guys want to make money but they want to win trophies as well, so it is a combination of things.”
Goal revealed on Friday that Manchester City remain hopeful of completing a January swoop for Sanchez, despite United having joined the chase.
Ozil, meanwhile, has refused to discuss his future in public, with Goal confirming at the turn of the year that he is yet to make a decision on his next move.
If Arsenal can get either to stay put, then their claims to a top-four finish and a return to Champions League will be offered a welcome boost.
The Gunners sit sixth in the Premier League table at present, five points adrift of Liverpool in fourth.