Christoph Kramer's agent rules out move away from Germany

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Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Manchester United and Liverpool target Christoph Kramer, after the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder's agent Emanuele Marchetti ruled out the possibility of his client leaving Germany.

The Metro carries quotes from the World Cup winner's representative, who also added that long-term suitors Napoli would be the first club informed if the 23-year-old's position changed, making it even harder for Arsene Wenger to secure the player's signature.

The Gunners boss has been heavily linked with a bid to bring the Germany international to the Emirates Stadium in 2015, but any hopes of luring him to north London now appear to have been quashed following the latest comments made by Marchetti.

"For the moment he is very happy and settled in Germany," he said. "If things changed, Napoli would be one of the first clubs to be informed."

According to the Daily Star, Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has also been mooted as an admirer of Kramer, and has held a tentative interest in taking him to Old Trafford.

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Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has also been keeping tabs on the player during his second season-long loan spell with Bundesliga rivals Borussia Monchengladbach, where he has been enjoying an opportunity to play regular first-team football.

That luxury is something that wasn't on offer with Roger Schmidt's side at the BayArena this season, but Bayer are planning to keep hold of the versatile star in the belief that he has a very bright future in the game.

World Cup impact

Kramer was on the fringes of Joachim Loew's national squad at the World Cup in Brazil this summer, and was a surprise starter in the memorable final victory over Argentina until his appearance was cut short by a head injury which forced him off with concussion.

His burgeoning reputation has continued to rise, prompting a number of enquiries from the Premier League, but for now it seems the German's career will continue to be played out in his homeland.

Arsenal will now be forced to turn to alternative defensive midfield options as Wenger attempts to resolve a long-standing problem in his team after failing to address that area of obvious weakness during the summer.

Central defensive reinforcements will also be high on the Gunners manager's list of priorities, with the void left by former captain Thomas Vermaelen's departure to Barcelona still yet to be filled at the Emirates.

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