Arsenal boss Unai Emery has told midfielder Aaron Ramsey to focus on his football and not his contract situation, which remains up in the air.
The Wales international star will be a free agent next summer if no new deal is agreed, with the Gunners seemingly having withdrawn their offer to the 27-year-old, much to the frustration of the player.
Indeed, Ramsey has gone as far as suggesting that he will leave the club at the end of the season following the breakdown in negotiations.
He retains the confidence of Emery, though, with the former Paris Saint-Germain boss offering him the captaincy as the north London side defeated Sporting CP in the Europa League on Thursday.
“I want my focus and his focus to be on the team,” Emery told Sky Sports. “It’s true that each player has an individual situation to speak about with the club, but these need to be apart from their performance with the team.
“For myself and Aaron, our conversations have been very clear. He’s played with commitment, with the focus on helping the team. I was very happy without how he played against Sporting, both individually and collectively.
“I want him to do the same for Sunday and for these forthcoming matches. He should focus on the team and being together in this situation and then we’ll see what happens.
“Aaron and the club and talk and he can think about his contract with the club. Maybe he’ll think about the possibility that he won’t continue here, but form me and for the team, it’s about being together and getting better in each training session.”
Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday as they seek to extend an 11-match winning streak under the former PSG coach, who arrived in the summer.
The Gunners’ title chances have been talked up after such a run, but Emery was keen to play those prospects down.
“We’re just focusing on each match,” he said. “When we started with two defeats in the first two matches, people were thinking it could be difficult for us this season. Now that we’re winning, the same people are thinking we’re heading for a top-four finish.
“We aren’t the best team now but when we lost we weren’t the worst team.
“We're a good team who need to improve a lot of things and take more confidence, responsibility and ambition to improve.”