Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick has admitted that he does not believe centre-back Jérôme Boateng will leave the club this winter, with Arsenal understood to be keen on a deal.
Arsenal were dealt a huge blow with the news of Calum Chambers' season-ending knee injury, leaving them short of options at the back.
They are believed to have added Boateng to their list of potential targets this month as they look to finally address their defensive issues.
The 31-year-old is far from a guaranteed starter at the Allianz Arena, so there was some optimism that this deal could be struck, but Flick has confessed (via The Mirror) that a departure looks unlikely for Boateng.
"Jérôme is a Bayern player," said Flick. "He has trained well during the winter break.
"I can't wait to see what the next few weeks will be like. I'm not worrying about if he'll leave the club or not. I can't imagine that at the moment."
Foot Mercato claim that Arsenal have already made contact with Bayern about a possible move for Boateng, and it is thought that, despite Flick's insistance, a fee of between €16m and €18m would be enough to tempt them to sell.
This declaration came shortly after Flick insisted that fellow defender David Alaba was not for sale either, with Chelsea believed to be keen on launching a £60m move for the Austria international.
With a move for Boateng looking unlikely, Arsenal may be forced to pursue some of their other targets. RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano has long been linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium, while Juventus' Daniele Rugani and Bournemouth's Nathan Aké are both thought to be high on their wish list.
Chambers' injury has left the Gunners short in defence, and rumours about a potential exit for Shkodran Mustafi continue to grow, so Mikel Arteta may need to turn to the transfer market fairly soon.
Arsenal's 2-0 win over Manchester United carried them up to tenth in the Premier League table, but Arteta will be aware that they still have a lot of work to do to get themselves back to an acceptable position.
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Source : 90min