Mesut Oezil is going nowhere.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has ruled out any possibility of the Germany playmaker leaving the club, amid interest from Italian giants Juventus.
Reports emerged from Italy yesterday that the 26-year-old World Cup winner could leave the Gunners for Turin due to his sponsorship deal with adidas.
Upon touching down at Changi Airport's JetQuay terminal yesterday afternoon, Wenger rubbished the rumours.
"During this period, the newspapers are creative and have to be creative," the Frenchman told a group of reporters.
"Many times, stories are created by agents. Oezil is our player, he will remain our player and he wants to remain our player."
Oezil and new goalkeeper Petr Cech were part of a 27-strong Gunners squad who arrived in Singapore yesterday for the Barclays Asia Trophy - a pre-season tournament featuring Arsenal, Everton, Stoke City and a Singapore Selection side.
The Gunners will take on the Singapore Selection side at the National Stadium at 8pm tomorrow, while Everton face Stoke at 6pm.
Around 150 fans decked in Arsenal colours camped outside the JetQuay terminal to catch a glimpse of the Gunners before they boarded the team bus.
A handful of them wore Oezil's name and No. 11 on the back of their jerseys, all hoping that the flamboyant playmaker - known for his deft technique and sublime passing - will replicate the kind of form he enjoyed in his first season with Arsenal in 2013-14.
Oezil joined them from Real Madrid for a club-record £42.5m ($86m) two summers ago but the Germany star has endured both good and bad spells at the Emirates Stadium.
"He had a difficult start but, the second part of (last) season, he was important," said Wenger.
"Oezil understands the rhythm of English football and he has improved his defensive attitude. He works hard and, offensively, he is a top-class player."
The 65-year-old Frenchman revealed that he was still open to new signings before the Premiership season begins on Aug 8.
So far, the club have added only former Chelsea goalkeeper Cech to their ranks, as they bid to challenge the Blues, Manchester City and Manchester United for the title.
"It depends, if we find someone, we will be open to do something," said Wenger, when asked if he still had some transfer business left.
"I believe Petr can contribute to our game by stabilising our defence.
"He can give us stability and impart his experience to the other goalkeepers who are still young."
Wenger also denied that his club were interested in signing Raheem Sterling, whose £49m move from Liverpool to Man City is all but finalised.
"It is a good buy for Man City. An expensive one, but they can afford it," he quipped.
"We never considered it because he plays in an area where we have plenty of players. We have (Theo) Walcott, (Alex Oxlade-) Chamberlain, (Alexis) Sanchez, (Jack) Wilshere who can play wide, so we have plenty of players."
This article was first published on July 14, 2015.
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