Robert Pires has revealed that he spoke to Alexis last week about his contract renewal and explained that the Chilean just wants to play.

“I spoke with Alexis last week and asked about the renewal,” Pires told the Chilean publication, La Tercera. “He told me he did not know, that he only cared to play. 

“The renewal is not a subject for Alexis. He does not know what is going to happen, just wants to play and enjoy.

“Yes, it’s what we all know [about China]. All we want is for Alexis to remain at Arsenal. I hope he renews his contract because he is a wonderful player. Alexis is the engine of the car. I hope he stays forever.”

This would seem to fly in stark contrast to a lot of the headlines we’ve had to endure in the tabloids which have claimed he’s demanding and threatening all sorts. It also gives me more belief that he will sign a new deal at the club.

Pires also spoke about why Alexis has shone and improved since arriving in the Premier League. “I see Alexis every day, in practice. I see him stronger, with more power. 

“He is more mature in his head. 

“Alexis is a very strong player for Arsenal. He is impressive when he trains, never wants to stop. 

“Wenger and I have told him to take it easy, but Alexis says that if he is on the pitch he is to train.”