Fiorentina star Riccardo Montolivo continues to stall over signing a new contract, leaving the door open for a potential move to Arsenal.
Montolivo – one of the only shining lights in Italy’s poor World Cup campaign – was reportedly subject to interest from Arsene Wenger during the transfer window, but the Arsenal boss failed to secure a deal for the midfielder.
Italian publication Tuttosport has also claimed that Inter Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich will provide the Gunners with stiff competition in their attempts to sign the 25-year-old.
The Viola are keen to tie down the playmaker on a long-term deal, but his reluctance to put pen to paper has alerted Arsenal and other potential suitors.
However, Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino remains optimistic that the Italian ace will commit his future to the Florence club.
"The story about Montolivo? In three days we have an important game against Lecce and I would never speak about situations off the field [with the players] before that," he told fiorentina.it.
"In recent times we've spoken about how to finalise the deal. We accept that the parties need time to make a decision. Time can also give the chance for a third-party solution.
“I am optimistic because of the consistency I meet with Montolivo and his representative Giovanni Branchini."
Should Wenger continue his interest in the former Atalanta man, the Gunners manager would reportedly have to part with 18 million euros to secure his services.