Arsenal are unlikely to succeed with a move for long-time reported target Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in January. Louis Nicolin, president of the defender’s club, Montpellier has said that a move in the next transfer window for the France international is not an option.
“Is there any possibility that Yanga-Mbiwa will leave in January? Absolutely Not,” Nicolin stressed to CalcioMercato.com.
The 23-year-old captained Montpellier to their first ever Ligue 1 title last season, but his contract is due to expire next summer.
"We're working on extending Yanga-Mbiwa's contract,” Nicolin said. “In any case, the only thing that's certain at the moment is that Yanga-Mbiwa won't leave in January.”
Arsenal have been linked to Yanga-Mbiwa for much of the summer, while Milan were also thought to be close to securing the Central African Republic born Central defender’s signature. Spanish reports this week have suggested that Barcelona are also closely monitoring his situation.
“Are Juventus and Barcelona also interested in Yanga-Mbiwa? To be honest, nobody has asked us about him,” Nicolin claimed. “I don’t know if any clubs have been in contact with Yanga-Mbiwa’s agent, and I honestly don’t care."
Arsenal have been linked with a January move for another central defender, in FC Basel’s Aleksandar Dragovic. Metro reports that the Gunners are one of a number of European clubs—including Inter Milan, Roma, Fiorentina, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen, Stuttgart and Marseille—to have scouted the Austria international in recent months. The story claims that Norwich had a £2 million bid rejected for the 21-year-old in the summer, although Dragovic is keen on a move to the Premier League.
Arsenal are to perform further checks on the 21-year-old ahead of a potential £5 million move in January, according to Metro.
The Gunners could also pursue a January move for former transfer target Ricky Alvarez. The Argentine attacking midfielder was thought to be close to moving to the Emirates last year before he joined Italian giants Inter. After starting 15 league games in a turbulent campaign for the club last term, the 24-year-old has made just two substitute appearances so far this season.
An Argentina international, Alvarez move to joined Inter from Velez Sarsfield for £10 million.
In other transfer news, Arsenal are said to be among a host of clubs circling over Metz’s highly-rated teenager Mirza Mustafic, according to Sky Sports.
A Bosnian-born midfielder playing in France, Mustafic has represented Luxembourg at youth level. Despite being only 14, it is reported that Mustafic has already gained interest from the Gunners, as well as Borussia Monchengladbach and PSV Eindhoven. He has also been compared to Bosnia and Roma star Miralem Pjanic.
The player’s father Sakib Mustafic has spoken of the interest surrounding his son.
"It is true, there are many open options for my son," he said, according to Sky Sports.
"But before we will decide, I would like to speak with Miralem Pjanic’s father as he went through all this before me.
"But I can confirm that my son will play for a big European club next season. And in the next few months we will decide where he will move."