Arsene Wenger has insisted Arsenal have no intention of letting Olivier Giroud leave in January.
Giroud came off the bench to score a late equaliser in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Southampton.
It followed reports that Crystal Palace have joined West Ham and Everton in a battle to sign him and that the Frenchman is keen to leave on loan.
But Gunners boss Wenger said: “Why should we lose an important player?
“I consider Olivier Giroud as a regular player. We have to be grateful that he is part of a great team and one who can come on and make a difference with the right attitude and ability.”
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Wenger praised his side for their late comeback at St Mary’s, where Charlie Austin’s goal put the hosts ahead.
He said: “I felt that in the first half we rushed our game.
“I said to keep calm and to play the way we want to play – to defend quicker when we lose the ball and to put them much more under pressure.
“In the second half it was one-way traffic but it was very difficult to create clear-cut chances.
“I’m not happy with just a point. But when you can’t win it, you don’t lose it. We kept going and were relentless.
“It was a difficult game and I felt that we paid a heavy price for a slow start. But we kept going.
“It was important not to concede the second goal and Olivier helped us rescue a point.
“Considering the quality of the team we faced, it’s not so bad.”