Gunners face Baptista blow
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsenal target Julio Baptista now seems to want to stay with Sevilla.Arsenal could be facing transfer disappointment as Sevilla striker Julio Baptista now seems to want to stay in Spain.
Arsene Wenger is hot on the heels of the powerful Brazilian marksman, who has proved a revelation since moving from midfield into attack.
The Gunners have already had a bid turned down for Baptista by Sevilla, along with another unnamed Premiership side.
Wenger was thought to have met with Baptista on a trip to Brazil recently, but it seems as though his urgings have not paid off, as the Samba star wants to remain with the Spanish outfit.
"I want to stay with Sevilla for one more season," Baptista was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.
"Then I will be able to gain dual nationality and become a European citizen.
"If I went to Arsenal now, I would not be able to."
The 23-year-old's current contract does not expire in Sevilla until 2008 but he has already turned down the chance to sign a new deal.
Sevilla threatened to report Arsenal to Fifa over Wenger's reported meetings with Baptista, but they are unlikely to press the issue should the South American remain in Seville.