Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reluctant to sell defender William Gallas in January.

The Daily Mail says despite interest from clubs in France, Wenger will let Gallas leave in January only if he can secure a replacement and trust the defender not to stir up more trouble.

"William is a player I rate and a man I rate as well," said Wenger yesterday. "I have a big respect for him. He was working as a captain under big pressure from the press and, at some stage, you do not want this high pressure to affect him or the team.

"He is a player who is committed to the club. He took to heart all the problems of the team. This can be a new start for him and he can be stronger as a player. We have to close this subject now."