Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their apparent pursuit of Brazilian international midfielder Kaka.
The Real Madrid superstar emerged on the Gunners' transfer radar in the closing stages of the transfer window, and has again be labeled as a transfer target for Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman openly discussed the player in an interview with Sport earlier in the week.
"Kaka is doing really well again. However, I do believe that he's not at the level he had at Milan just yet. The next step for him is to get a lot of playing time again," said he Arsenal chief.
"The problem for Kaka is that he plays in the same team as Ozil, though, who is young and very strong. It will not be easy for Kaka to become an undisputed first-team player again."
However, the former AC Milan playmaker has played down talk of a move away from Los Blancos, quickly nipping talk of a January switch to Arsenal in the bud in the process.
"I think I will succeed in Madrid. I am very happy here again. Last season I was not well physically. I felt like a robot on the field, I was very predictable and mechanical," said Kaka.
"Mourinho had every reason to drop me, but did the opposite, he stayed with me and helped me. He said he wanted me here and I will try my best so things go well. I am indebted to him and Real Madrid. I have cried many times, thinking things would not work out."
TalkSPORT claims Arsenal tried to bring the player to the Emirates in August, but after failing in their pursuit turned attentions to Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta and Israel skipper Yossi Benayoun.
However, talk of a New Year swoop has been mooted in the British press after the Gunners' dreadful start to the season, but Arsenal will now have to take their interest elsewhere.