Barcelona midfielder Alex Song has dismissed suggestions that he could return to Arsenal this summer and insisted that he is happy to remain at the Camp Nou.
Reports in recent weeks have circulated the idea that Song could be set to leave Barcelona after a difficult first season following his transfer from Arsenal. The Cameroon international’s cousin and former Liverpool defender Rigobert also revealed that Alex was unhappy with his lack of first-team action during the campaign.
Stories in England put forward the possibility that Arsenal would be tempted to re-sign the player who left for £15 million. Song, though, now appears to have put an end to such talk.
“It is hard because no [speculation] comes from me,” he said, according to the London Evening Standard. “I know I am very happy here, my family is happy here, for sure I will be here next season.”
Another rumored target for the Gunners who can now be all-but ruled out for a summer transfer is Schalke starlet Julian Draxler. The 19-year-old attacking midfielder is believed to be the subject of interest from several of Europe’s top clubs, including Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.
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Draxler is already a Germany international and recently became the youngest player in the history of German soccer to make 100 competitive appearances.
However, rather than seeking a big move at this stage of his career, he has decided to stay with Schalke and has signed an extension to his contract to tie him to the club until 2018.
“Schalke is a labor of love for me,” he told the club’s official website. “If I just look back at the recent past, I sometimes have to pinch myself. For me this is a dream come true -- and this is not over yet! I am proud that the club has such great confidence in me. I will repay them with my performance.”
But Arsenal may still have an active interest in another player currently successfully plying his trade in the Bundesliga. The Daily Mail reports that the Gunners are keen to sign Borussia Dortmund’s right back Lukasz Piszczek as a replacement for Bacary Sagna.
France international Sagna will enter the final year of his contract this summer and there have been widespread suggestions that he will be allowed to leave the club.
Several possible replacements have been linked to Arsenal, but it could be that Piszczek will prove out of manager Arsene Wenger’s reach. The 27-year-old is an important part of the Dortmund side that has reached the final of the Champions League.
Meanwhile, the Sun has claimed that Arsenal are one of a number of clubs keeping an eye on Roma’s creative midfielder Miralem Pjanic. The 23-year-old is having a fine season in Serie A and is also said to be interesting Manchester City and Tottenham. His potential transfer fee may be prohibitive, however, with the Bosnia and Herzegovina international reportedly valued at £20 million.
Pjanic joined Roma from French side Lyon for £9 million in the summer of 2011.