Tottenham Hotspur star Sandro has dismissed talk he could be about to make a shock move to fierce local rivals Arsenal and insisted he was happy at Spurs despite recent criticism from manager Tim Sherwood.
The Brazilian was dropped from the squad for victory over Fulham on Saturday at White Hart Lane and hinted at something of a falling out with manager Sherwood when he tweeted to his followers that he was not injured. The Spurs boss then confirmed that was the case and insisted Sandro had not been good enough to even force his way into the match day squad.
According to the Daily Express, this led to the Gunners being linked with a swoop for the 25-year-old midfielder as they look to bolster the midfield ranks in front of the back for this summer. However, Sandro insisted he was happy at Spurs because of the "love" he feels from the people connected with the club and only saw the links with what would be an unpopular move among fans, to say the least, as evidence he is doing a good job.
"I quietly received the news... I respect him, I have nothing against him, let him speak," he said of Sherwood's remarks in an interview with Brazilian publication Lancenet.
"I will continue working quietly, I'm a professional. I have to work. Everyone loves me at Tottenham, it is my home.
I'm happy here at Tottenham. If the rival supporters want me to go to their team, I think I'm doing a good job and being recognised."
Spurs won the match against Fulham 3-1 to keep alive slim hopes for breaking into the top four or, more realistically, qualifying for the Europe League before the season ends in three matches time - they are currently six points behind fifth-placed Everton. Sandro is likely not too worried about being left out of the squad because he looks set to get the chance to impress another manager come the summer, as Sherwood has been heavily tipped for the sack once the season is over.
Arsenal moving for one of their local rivals' stars was always going to be an unlikely proposition, but they know it can be done after the capture of Spurs captain Sol Campbell on a free transfer in 2001 brought them great success. A more dynamic and physical presence in the defensive midfield area is one of the improvements it has been suggested that Arsene Wenger make to his squad come the summer.
Mikel Arteta is the Gunners' principal deep-lying playmaker but the weight of games and his age, added to the fact he is not especially mobile or physical, have seen him look leggy in the latter half of the season, which also saw Arsenal's title challenge fail. Sandro would be a useful addition to Arsene Wenger's midfield, but the "love" the Brazilian is receiving means he will have to look elsewhere for someone of that style.