Montpellier have poured cold water on claims suggesting their Bosnian centre-back Emir Spahic could be set for a move to England with Arsenal.
The 29-year-old defender was reportedly quoted earlier this week as saying that the two clubs had opened negotiations over a transfer to the Gunners.
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“The most important thing is that so far the negotiations go as planned and that the transfer could be concluded soon,” he is quoted as saying to Bosnian website SportSport.ba.
“Arsenal are a great club. I am an admirer of Arsene Wenger and I hope that Montpellier will be cooperative.”
But all that comes as news to Montpellier boss Rene Girard, who rejected speculation linking his star defender with a move away from the Ligue 1 club to Emirates Stadium, having only signed the Bosnian last summer.
"I can tell you one thing. Spahic is a Montpellier player," Girard told L'Equipe.
"Wenger has a clear and honest way of working. There was no discussion [on Spahic]. Everything else is just cafe gossip."
Girard's stance was reinforced by his chairman Laurent Nicollin, who has already overseen the high-profile departures of several key players that helped the French club storm into a European berth in their first season back in the French top flight.
"To date we have had absolutely no contact with Arsenal or anyone else," Nicollin said. "I believe Arsenal is a great club which first talks with the people involved before starting anything."
Spahic's agent Dino Paselic also appeared to be on the same page as the Montpellier officials when saying: "We have had no contact with Arsenal to date."
Wenger is believed to be keen on adding another centre-half to his squad before the transfer windows shuts in three weeks having seen Sol Campbell, William Gallas, Philippe Senderos and Mikael Silvestre all depart.
He has been linked with Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen and Per Mertesacker of Werder Bremen this summer.
By James Martinicomments