After reports emerged that Arsenal were set to smash their transfer record to land Mario Gotze this summer, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder’s agent has said the player will not be going anywhere.
The Daily Mail reported over the weekend that Arsenal had identified Gotze as their top transfer target and were even prepared to meet his release clause of €37 million (£31.5 million). Gotze had been strongly linked with a move to the Gunners last season before he signed a new contract, featuring the clause that ties him to the Bundesliga club until 2016.
Manchester United and Manchester City have also been linked to the 20-year-old Germany international. However, his agent, Volker Struth, has said that any interested parties can forget about landing Gotze, at least for next season.
“Mario has not even thought about leaving Dortmund in 2013,” Struth said, according to the Daily Mail. “He is totally not interested in that and will stay at least another season."
One of Arsene Wenger’s priorities to strengthen his Arsenal side this summer is believed to be recruiting a top level goalkeeper. Wojciech Szczesny has been dropped from the starting lineup for recent games after an unconvincing season.
One of the leading targets is considered to be Barcelona’s Victor Valdes. The Spain international has already revealed that he won’t be extending his contract at Camp Nou, which is set to expire in 2014.
Barcelona-based publication El Mundo Deportivo has previously claimed that Valdes is keen to leave this summer in order to seek a new challenge abroad.
The 31-year-old’s agent was coy when asked about the situation, but suggested that there had been a development.
“What's new in the case Valdés? Out of respect for Victor and Barca, I will not say anything,” Gines Carvajal told Radio Marca.
Valdes has previously stated his admiration for the Premier League and, according to El Mundo Deportivo, there is strong speculation linking him to the Gunners.
However, the Sunday People has reported that Hamburg’s Rene Adler is Wenger’s first choice between the sticks.
The 28-year-old came up through the ranks at Bayer Leverkusen, and has previously been linked with Arsenal, before moving to Hamburg last summer for around £5 million. The Germany international is considered by the People to be a cut-price alternative to Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic.
Meanwhile, the Sun asserts that a Germany international currently in Arsenal’s ranks, Lukas Podolski, fears for his future at the Emirates, despite only arriving at the club last summer. The 27-year-old has not started for the Gunners since the Champions League last-16 first leg defeat to Bayern Munich almost two months ago.
An unnamed source is reported as telling the Sun that Podolski is unsettled by the situation.
“Lukas is very happy at Arsenal, he loves the fans and enjoys living in London but he is increasingly worried that Wenger may have a problem with him,” claims the source.
“He is frustrated at not playing for such a long time. He is an experienced player and he wants to play football.”
Podolski did, however, make a significant impact when coming on against Norwich City on Saturday, scoring a goal and helping Arsenal secure a crucial 3-1 victory.