Is it just me or does Arsene Wenger's reaction yesterday suggest Cesc is off?

£45m for any player is massive money, especially in these troubled economic times.

During the Arséne Wenger years, the thought of losing Ian Wright, Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry has filled me with dread and yet, each time, we’ve come through it and proved that no one player is bigger than the club.

Of course, it could be argued that not winning a trophy since Vieira left proves that sometimes selling your best players doesn’t provoke more success, but since his departure – during which he has been hampered by injuries – we’ve come mighty close to winning big prizes.

Of course, coming second should be the priority in the bedroom, not the football pitch and while the prospect of Cesc Fabregas leaving is always going to loom, maybe Wenger is trying to let us down slowly.

In the past, he has come out categorically stating that the club will not sell this player or that, and usually sells when he is ready, not when Spanish clubs start looming.

But his irritated response yesterday to questions asking for confirmation that Cesc will be at the club next season suggest that either he has already accepted that his captain will leave in the summer, or that it depends on winning a trophy this year.

Cesc will go back to Spain. That is a fact. He will almost certainly return to his homeland of Cataluña and Barcelona, where he played as a youngster.

We have creative players in our midst who could replace him in the centre of midfield: Andrey Arshavin, a fit-again Tomas Rosicky or even Samir Nasri.

None of them will provide quite the same impact in that position, but they may do in time. The fact is, though, we do not have time. Gooners don't want to keep waiting for the promise of what might be.

I don’t care about having more English players in the team, but looking at our rivals in the north, you just didn’t hear ongoing rumours of the likes of Giggs or Scholes leaving M*nure or refusing to quell the speculation.

Arsenal has built a magnificent stadium worthy of any great team.

To quote David Dein, there’s no point having such a home if you don’t have the players and the success to ensure it is full.

There have been too many games this season when rows of empty seats show how fickle football fans can be.

Losing Cesc this summer will mean another key player leaving us, a player who is central to the project (as they would describe the team-building in Europe).

The new stadium was supposed to make us a superclub, not a feeder club.

Arsenal’s actions over the next six months are going to be very telling. Continue to sell our players at their peak, and we might as well all give up hope of becoming a leading club on the domestic and European stage.