Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their ongoing pursuit of Brazilian midfielder Hernanes, after Lazio sporting director Igli Tare said that he will not leave the club for a long time, reports the Daily Star.
The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, with both north London rivals ready to vie for his signature when the transfer window reopens in January.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger might already have a wealth of midfield talent at the Emirates Stadium, but he is still understood to be keen to add Hernanes to his ranks.
Andre Villas-Boas also has a surplus of creative options in that area of the pitch, but appears equally determined to lure the Serie 'A' star to Spurs, to increase a growing South American contingent at White Hart Lane.
However, both Arsenal and Tottenham's intentions to step up their interest have suffered a setback following Tare's latest comments in an interview with Italian publication Corriere dello Sport.
"Despite his inconsistency, Hernanes remains a fundamental player for us," said the Lazio chief. "You just have to think back to the goals he has scored.
"Every time that I have spoken to him or his agent, I have been given the impression that he sees this as his home.
"He knows what Lazio can give him, what he can have in Rome. It is vital for us that we can guarantee him an important team."
After finishing the 2012/13 campaign in seventh place, Vladimir Petkovic has been tasked with improving on Lazio's league position this season, and the Stadio Olimpico outfit are currently in exactly the same standing, with 11 points from their opening seven games.
Hernanes - who has scored 32 goals in 107 appearances or Lazio in the past three seasons - will play an important part in taking the Rome-based club to the next level, and for that reason his future remains in Italy.
"You never know what will happen in life and one day he could move somewhere else, but that day is still a long way off," explained Tare.
He added: "Is a renewal close? It is not close nor far away."
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms