Arsenal have been dealt a significant blow in their reported pursuit of Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka after the Bundesliga club's sporting director rubbished reports linking him with the Gunners.
Xhaka has long been on Arsenal's radar and could reportedly be snapped up for £26 million, per Gregg Bakowski in the Guardian.
There are no offers, there is no figure that I have seen in black and white and there is no contact with Arsenal. I would like to say clearly once again at this point: Granit Xhaka wants to stay in Monchengladbach and we do not want to sell him. He is a super player for us and will contest the second half of the season here. As for the figures I have seen floating round, they amuse me.
Per Sport Witness, Xhaka has previously spoken of his desire to play in the Premier League, but a move to north London in January seems highly unlikely:
The Gunners have already added a central midfielder to their ranks in the winter window—they paid a reported £5 million for Mohamed Elneny.
But a major overhaul in the central areas is expected in 2016, as Tomas Rosicky, Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are all set to depart the Emirates in the summer, per James Olley in the Evening Standard.
Thus, with Eberl indicating that Xhaka will "contest the second half of the season" with Gladbach, a summer move for the Switzerland international may well be on the cards for Arsenal.
He would be an excellent addition at Arsenal and would bring necessary depth and variety to the squad alongside Elneny and Francis Coquelin.
He has been compared to a young Bastian Schweinsteiger, with his ability to control a game and his leadership two of his greatest strengths, per FourFourTwo's Michael Yokhin.
As can be seen below, Xhaka's distribution is also fantastic:
While Arsenal now look unlikely to sign him imminently, Xhaka is definitely a player they should go back in for again, as he could be a stalwart of their midfield for many years to come.
Elsewhere, Alexis Sanchez has given Arsenal and their fans assurances that he is going nowhere.
The former Barcelona man is expected to return to the Gunners squad for Sunday's clash with Chelsea, and has spoken of how happy he is at the Emirates, per Chris Hatherall in the Mirror: "I am very happy at Arsenal, and I’m not thinking about leaving."
Sanchez is undoubtedly one of Arsenal's star players. In previous years the Gunners have lost many of their best players in the transfer market.
However, that no longer seems to be the case, and the Emirates faithful can rest easy in the knowledge that Sanchez is going nowhere.