Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal will not sell star duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, but stopped short of promising fans the club would secure them to new contracts.
Both players' contracts expire at the end of next season and the pair are believed to be holding out for a significant pay rise from the Gunners before agreeing to an extension.
Although the two stars have been linked with other clubs, Wenger says Arsenal fans will not see a repeat of the situation which saw the club sell top scorer Robin van Persie to rivals Manchester United in 2012 after failing to agree terms with the Dutchman.
"I can give no assurances on their Arsenal future, but 18 months is quite long in football," said Wenger.
"These players have 18 months on their contracts and, no matter what happens, they will stay for 18 months. Hopefully they'll stay for longer than that.
"Like always we will do the maximum of what we can for every single player."
Sanchez has reportedly been offered the chance to more than triple his wages with a move to China, yet Wenger is unconvinced that the Chilean would want to leave a team challenging for the Premier League title — Arsenal could go top on Saturday with a win over Stoke City at the Emirates — for the Chinese Super League.
"We live in a world where great players like Alexis and Ozil earn a lot of money and they have the privilege of choosing where they really want to play," said the Frenchman.
"Why should you go to China when you are playing in England?"