Fiorentina winger Stevan Jovetic has heaped praise on teammate - and Arsenal target - Riccardo Montolivo as the Italian midfielder faces increasing speculation regarding his future in Florence.
Montolivo's contract at the Stadio Artemio Franchi expires next summer, and the Viola are keen to tie the 26-year-old down to a new deal.
Discussions between the club and Montolivo's representatives have been ongoing but, with suggestions that Arsenal will attempt to sign him in January, the Italy international is said to be stalling.
Jovetic, though, says he and his colleagues will help Montolivo focus on his game as Arsenal reportedly circle.
“We will try to help [Montolivo] because he is a big player," said the Montenegrin.
"We will protect him for as long as he is here, because he has always been the best.”
Arsenal had been after midfielder reinforcements during the summer transfer window following the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri from the Emirates Stadium.
However, it is not thought a bid for Montolivo came to fruition, and Arsene Wenger instead acquired Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun.