United & Arsenal dealt '99%' wonderkid transfer blow

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Manchester United and Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of German starlet Mario Gotze.

The 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund sensation has been linked with a handful of clubs across Europe, with Spanish and Italian sides thought to be tracking the 12-cap international.

Barclays Premier League interest has been constant in the player, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger a long-term admirer.

Manchester United chief Sir Alex Ferguson is also reported to be a fan, with claims in the British press over the weekend that the Red Devils were monitoring the player ahead of a possible January move,

However, both clubs appear set to be left disappointed after Dortmund director of sport Michael Zorc insisted the player will be staying at Signal Igunda Park for the foreseeable future.

"All the relevant people on this topic - the player, his family, the player's agent and not least us as a club have all said clearly: There will be no transfer for Mario Gotze," Zorc is reported as saying on FIFA.com.

"In football, things are never 100 per cent, but I'll say I am 99 per cent, maybe more, sure that Mario Gotze will play next season at Borussia Dortmund."

The comments came after Gotze limped off in the first-half of the Bundesliga side's 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates. Robin Van Persie continued his fine run of form, scoring twice for the Gunners in a result that secures their qualification from Group F.

Wenger has been tipped by many to splash the cash on Gotze, one of Europe's biggest talents despite his failure to spark BVB past the north London outfit on both occasions this term.

However, his abilities aren't in question, with £30 million the most recent figure placed on the player's head should Wenger wish to add to his midfield at Arsenal, which boasts attacking talents such as Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun.

Manchester United, meanwhile, were heavily linked with players in the attacking midfield position during the summer transfer window following Paul Scholes' retirement from the game.

The Old Trafford outfit courted Wesley Sneijder, but decided against a move for the Dutch playmaker, instead relying on the talents of Manchester United academy graduate Tom Cleverley.

His start to the season was imperious, but injury coincided with a dip in form for the club, leading to speculation that Ferguson will once again raid the market in the New Year.

Gotze had emerged as one of the top Manchester United targets, with the Red Devils not afraid to meet the high asking-price reported to have been placed on his head.

However, with the club's dismissal of claims Gotze is to leave, it appears nobody will be benefiting from the teenager's talents other than Jurgen Klopp.

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