Montolivo not on way to Arsenal

Italian midfield maestro Riccardo Montolivo will not be moving to Arsenal this summer, according to his agent.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is currently in South Africa working for French television, is believed to be eyeing up a string of midfielders as possible new recruits should the Gunners' skipper Cesc Fabregas return to Barcelona next month.

However, reports linking the Azzurri's Montolivo with a move to Emirates Stadium have been denied by the players’ representitive.

After a 2009/10 campaign that saw Montolivo shine in an underperforming Fiorentina side, followed by two eye-catching displays at the World Cup against Paraguay and New Zealand, the player has been on the radar of many of Europe’s top clubs.

Eager to retort, Giovanni Branchini has insisted that Montolivo - who has netted 11 goals in 156 Serie A games for La Viola - is content in Tuscany and will not be the subject of a summer transfer saga during the showpiece tournament in South Africa.

“These rumours make me laugh," Branchini said. "This news is totally made up.

"Montolivo is good enough to be linked to Arsenal but not at this stage while he is busy with the Nazionale, halfway through the World Cup."

With this now seemingly a dead-end for Wenger, he will now need to track other targets should Fabregas depart for the Catalan giants.

Arsenal and Spurs are reportedly set to go head-to-head for the signature of England midfielder Joe Cole, with Manchester United thought to have ruled themselves out of a move for the Chelsea man, whose contract expires at the end of the month.

By Dan Gibson

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