Mikel Arteta makes fresh Eddie Nketiah contract claim sure to frustrate Crystal Palace, Brighton and Leeds

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has made his Eddie Nketiah stance clear amid speculation on the striker's future during the January transfer window

Eddie Nketiah continues to be linked with a January move away from the Emirates
Eddie Nketiah continues to be linked with a January move away from the Emirates

Nketiah has struggled for game time at the Emirates this season and his contract at the Emirates expires this summer.

This January is possibly the last chance the Gunners have of receiving a fee for the prolific England youth international who has attracted attention from Crystal Palace, Brighton West Ham, Leeds and Bayer Leverkusen.

Brighton were said to be leading the chase for the 22-year-old but Palace were recently installed as favourites as it is thought Nketiah's wage demands were too high for the Seagulls.

Nketiah was handed a rare start in attack during last Sunday's FA Cup loss at Nottingham Forest but had a quiet afternoon as speculation over his future rumbles on.

The former Leeds loanee continues to be linked with a move away this January but it's something Arteta does not see happening.

“The situation is that Eddie is our player and Eddie is going to stay here with us. He is our player, he is under contract so he will stay with us.”

It remains to be seen if Nketiah will keep his place for the Carabao game at Liverpool, having hit a hat-trick in the quarter-final win over Sunderland.

Meanwhile, Arteta insists Arsenal can still attract the world’s best players as the club continue to be linked with a move for Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic.

There has been much speculation in recent weeks about interest in Serbia international Vlahovic, who has hit 16 goals in 19 Serie A appearances this season.

Asked directly about a move for the 21-year-old, Arteta replied: “I’m really sorry to disappoint you but you know that I’m not going to be discussing any transfer rumours. I’ve never done it and obviously we cannot do it.”

Arteta was more open when asked about the transfer window in general and stressed his belief that, despite not being in Europe, Arsenal remains an attractive destination for elite players.

“You hear a lot of rumours, like you hear about us,” he said.

“Some of them can be possible, some of them are not even considered. I think clubs are always willing to try to improve.

“We know that there are a couple of clubs in England now that have the possibility to buy players in January. Some of them have already done it. I am expecting more activity than last year because clubs are in a better position, but I don’t know how far we have come still through this pandemic.

“Historically this club has always been targeting the best players in the world and the best players in the world were always interested to come here and I can say that situation hasn’t changed.

“Every time I have spoken to any player, they were so willing to come. I haven’t faced any other situation and that’s one of our biggest powers.

“Our capacity to get the attention of people to come and join our club is something that is an advantage for us.”