Swansea City defender Ashley Williams has denied that he has already been in talks over a summer move to Arsenal and said that he is not currently thinking about a summer transfer.
The Wales captain has been frequently linked with both Arsenal and Liverpool in recent months, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believed to be keen to add Williams’s leadership skills to his back line. However, the 28-year-old is trying to ignore the speculation.
“They are two top teams -- one trying to get into the Champions League and another massive club in Liverpool,” he said, according to the South Wales Evening Post.
“But I just think it means you’re doing your job properly.
“I can’t look at anything like that and I don’t think about it.
There had even been claims that discussions took place between Williams and Wenger after Arsenal’s win at Swansea last month. Williams, though, denied this was the case.
“I have seen so many stories -- that I have spoken to Arsenal, my agent has spoken to them, they have been at my house -- and I don’t know where they get them from,” he added.
One player known to be on Wenger’s wanted list is Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia. The Arsenal boss revealed in the past few days that he was keen on the 20-year-old but was wary of competition from some of Europe’s leading clubs.
That caution could prove well founded with Kondogbia now stating that he has his heart set on a move to Real Madrid.
“My preference? Real Madrid has been my dream since I was a small boy," he said, reports Sky Sports.
"It is always great to see that clubs are following you and want you. On the Real Madrid thing that would be a dream come true. But it is only a rumor at the moment.
"With that type of team I could play regularly in the Champions League."
Arsenal may well be casting their net over several defensive midfielders as they look to find a replacement for Alex Song with Abou Diaby again ruled out with a long-term injury.
The Sun reports that Arsenal are already readying a £10 million offer for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin.
The 23-year-old midfielder has adapted seamlessly to the Premier League this season and been a key part of Southampton getting themselves clear of the relegation zone in their first campaign back in the top flight.
Schneiderlin, a former France Under-21 international, leads the Premier League in interceptions per game this season and is second in tackles made per game.
It appears, though, that Arsenal have ended their interest in Barcelona forward David Villa. Wenger made an approach for the 31-year-old in January, with Villa seeing limited playing time with the Catalans, but Barcelona did not want to lose the player in midseason.
According to the Daily Mirror, Villa is keen to push through an exit at the end of the current campaign to preserve his place with the Spain side. However, Arsenal are believed to have moved onto younger targets -- specifically Stevan Jovetic.