Arsenal suffer blow in pursuit of World Cup ace

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Italy international Riccardo Montolivo has moved to quash speculation linking him with Arsenal.

The Daily Mirror reports that the 25-year-old was on the Gunners’ radar during the summer transfer window and that he was keen on a move away from Serie A.

However, the former Atlanta midfielder says he is content with life at Fiorentina.

He said: "My contract is not a case that people need to worry about. I'm fine in Florence.

"There is no case and I do not want to talk about it now, I'll do so tomorrow after the game, now I want to concentrate on the Faroe Islands."

Montolivo has yet to sign a new deal with the Viola but the Italian club remains confident that he will soon put pen to paper.

The Fiorentina star is described in the Italian press as a “regista” – a deep-lying playmaker – and has been earmarked as the natural successor to Andrea Pirlo in the Italy team.

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will launch a January raid for Montolivo, who could provide the Gunners with extra dynamism as they bid to win the Premier League for the first time since 2005.

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