Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has laughed off speculation suggesting that Lukas Podolski will join Inter Milan on loan in January.
Podolski has been frustrated over his lack of playing time this season, but Wenger says he won’t let him leave because he needs the German international as Arsenal look to secure a top four finish.
The French boss also appeared to take a swipe at Inter Milan by suggesting that the Italian club weren't willing to follow up their interest with anything concrete.
They talk,” Wenger said. “There is only talks. Podolski is a player of Arsenal football club and I want him to stay.
"Apart from that, what it is to be professional is that as long as you are somewhere, you give your best to justify your wages and your love for the club. I hope that he will still be an Arsenal player at the end of January. Inter? That is a joke. Inter is not serious.”
Welbeck injury doubt
Looking ahead to New Year’s Day and the Gunners are likely to be without Danny Welbeck for their game against Southampton.
The striker, who has managed just four goals in 16 league appearances for Arsenal, is struggling with a thigh problem, and will be monitored ahead of the game on Thursday.
Theo Walcott is fit enough to feature against his former team according to Wenger and could even start the game.
Arsenal eye Loic Perrin swoop
Wenger is looking at Loic Perrin from Saint Etienne to solve his defensive problems according to the Telegraph.
So far this term Arsenal have been caught short at the back thanks to a host of injuries. His failure to add a new top-class centre-back to replace Thomas Vermaelen - who was sold to Barcelona - has exposed his lack of options.
Laurent Koscielny is also struggling to recover fully from injury which has forced Calum Chambers into the fold, and Wenger says the former Southampton youngster has already played too many games.
The Telegraph say the young Frenchman would cost around £6 million and is a viable option ahead of the January window.