Melo insists he’s staying in Italy

Reported Arsenal target Felipe Melo has refuted suggestions that he is on the verge of joining Arsenal, by reasserting his allegiance to Italian side Fiorentina.

“I’ll come back to Italy when I end my holidays,” the 25-year-old defensive midfielder told lancenet.com.br.

“I have a contract with Fiorentina in which it was written that should I have a good first season, the club would have the possibility to extend my contract automatically from five to six years. They utilised this clause and I am really happy.

“I owe Fiorentina a lot. I arrived and I immediately became a regular. I have never been on the bench.”

Melo has been strongly linked with a move to the Gunners after playing a key role in Brazil’s Confederations Cup victory.

Reports over the weekend suggested that Arsenal could offer Emmanuel Eboue as makeweight in the deal, but Melo’s new one-year contract extension means Arsene Wenger must look elsewhere.

NEWS: Arsenal make move for Felipe Melo
NEWS: Gilberto - Arsenal need man like Melo
NEWS: Melo reports squashed by spokeman
NEWS: Gilardino denies Melo exit talk
NEWS: Gilardino: Melo may be sold
NEWS: Flattered Melo may yet join Arsenal

ARSENAL FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read:
Web Exclusives Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas
Q&A Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas
One on One Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry, Ian Wright
Boy's A Bit Special Theo Walcott, Armand Traore
Perfect XI Ian Wright
What Happened Next? Gus Caesar, Peter Marinello
And Another Thing
Being a Big Four fan

Plus! Rate Arsenal players (and others) on Talentspotter