John Stones: Mikel Arteta not interested in bringing Manchester City defender to Arsenal

Manchester City's English defender John Stones (R) sits on the pitch injured before being substituted during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 7, 2019. 0:49
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has played down reports he is interested in signing Manchester City defender John Stones and AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie

Mikel Arteta has denied recent reports he is interested in bringing Manchester City defender John Stones to Arsenal.

New Gunners boss Arteta coached Stones for over three years at Manchester City, after joining the club at the same time as the England centre-back in the summer of 2016.

Arsenal have been linked with defensive reinforcements as they try and mount a challenge for a top-four place, but Arteta is not planning an imminent reunion with Stones.

Asked if there is any truth in his reported interest in Stones, Arteta said: "No, no truth at all."

Monaco and Wolves are both interested in AC Milan's Franck Kessie
Image: AC Milan's Franck Kessie has reportedly been on Arsenal's radar

The Arsenal head coach was also dismissive when asked about the Gunners' reported interest in AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.

"No truth at all at the moment," Arteta replied.

Arsenal host sixth-placed Sheffield United on Saturday and will move a point behind the Blades if they win at the Emirates Stadium.

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Arsenal's Calum Chambers holds his knee after picking up an injury
Image: Calum Chambers will not play again this season

Arteta indicated he has a clear idea of players he would like to bring to the club but admitted January is a difficult window to get the right deals done.

Asked if he has a wishlist of players, Arteta replied: "Yes I have. You need to have one always just in case.

"But it has to be the right player in the right context that financially we can compete [for] and attract. And all these factors when you put them together it is not easy to compete in this market."

Lucas Torreira has started just four of Arsenal's league matches this season
Image: Midfielder Lucas Torreira is also a doubt for the game against Sheffield United

The Gunners are without four defenders for the visit of the Blades with Sead Kolasinac (thigh) joining Kieran Tierney (shoulder), Hector Bellerin (hamstring) and long-term injury victim Calum Chambers (knee) on the sidelines.

"We have a lot of injuries at the back," Arteta added.

"There is the fact as well that Calum got a big injury which has led us to modify our plans. It's what we have. It is the situation and it is common for it to happen between December and January.

"We have to put 11 players out on that pitch on Saturday and I am sure we will. They will try their best and I will try to select the ones that in my opinion are the best fit for that game."

How to follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Sky Sports will bring you the very latest news from the January transfer market with the return of three shows.

Start your day with Good Morning Transfers at 9am as our team of reporters bring you the latest news and insight. Transfer Talk then follows at midday delivering analysis of the biggest stories. Then join us at 7pm for the definitive round-up of the day's news with The Transfer Show.

Meanwhile, the Transfer Talk podcast will also be back at the turn of the year with more expert analysis from here and across the continent.

And as well as tuning into Sky Sports News, don't miss a thing with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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