Fresh twist in Arsenal and Liverpool pursuit of Italy ace

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Arsenal and Liverpool look set to lose out on Riccardo Montolivo as he edges closer to signing a new contract with Fiorentina.

The Italy international has been linked with a move to either the Emirates or Anfield since the summer but it looks like speculation regarding his future will imminently be laid to rest.

"At the time the player and his agent made it clear they had the will to renew for five years. At that point we left with a promise to meet again after the World Cup for shaping the difference that existed," Fiorentina chief-executive Pantaleo Corvino said.

"But then we were informed that it was necessary for more reflection. But I am convinced that both the player and his agent are talking and we expect them to return (to talks)."

Despite interest in his signature from both Arsenal and Liverpool, it appeared most likely the 25-year-old would join up with Arsene Wenger but the Gunners boss now seems almost certain to miss out on his target.

Liverpool had initially expressed an interest on Montolivo during Rafa Benitez's tenure and were understood to still be weighing up a bid for the midfielder after Roy Hodgson took the reigns at Anfield.

However, after the departure of Javier Mascherano from Anfield, Liverpool opted to sign Raul Meireles from Porto rather than make a move for Montolivo.

Despite the likelihood of losing out on Montolivo, both Arsenal and Liverpool are expected to add to their respective squads in January.

Arsenal have identified a new goalkeeper as their number one priority, while Hodgson will reportedly have around £30 million to spend on new recruits.

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