Arsenal appear confident of Gazidis stay amid AC Milan links

Sir Chips Keswick believes the club's chief executive remains committed to the Gunners, with Unai Emery expressing a similar belief

Arsenal have released a statement of defiance regarding their chief executive Ivan Gazidis amid links with Serie A club AC Milan.

Gazidis has been at Arsenal since 2008 and played a key role in bringing Unai Emery to Emirates Stadium as a replacement for long-standing manager Arsene Wenger.

Milan's recent takeover by Elliott Management, after former owner Li Yonghong failed to repay a €32 million (£28m/$37m) debt, has led to speculation new owner Paul Singer could move to appoint Gazidis.

But a statement released by Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick asserts that Gazidis is fully focused on his duties with the Gunners.

It read: "We are aware of the speculation surrounding our chief executive Ivan Gazidis. We know he receives many offers from organisations inside and outside the game as he’s a hugely respected figure. 

"He has never accepted any of these opportunities and has never spoken about them publicly. He has always been fully committed to taking Arsenal forward and is currently working hard in Singapore with our new head coach Unai Emery as we prepare for the new season."

Emery, meanwhile, also believes Gazidis remains committed to Arsenal despite the links with Milan.

And, although the Arsenal statement did not outright confirm Gazidis is staying, Emery, who is preparing his players for the new season at the International Champions Cup in Singapore, said his relationship with the club's chief executive remains strong.

He told reporters: "I speak every day with him [Gazidis].

"He has been committed here for many, many years. I think he continues here because it is a big project here and his commitment to Arsenal is very strong.

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"We are speaking about every decision for our club."

Arsenal have been busy in the transfer market ahead of the 2018-19 season, bringing in Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi as they aim to improve on last season's sixth-place Premier League finish.