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Tony Pulis has firmly rejected speculation that West Brom could complete a loan deal to sign Mathieu Debuchy during the January transfer window. The French defender has featured sparingly for Arsenal so far this season, making just two appearances in the Premier League under Arsene Wenger after failing to dislodge Hector Bellerin from his role as the starting right-back.
Understandably, that lack of first-team football has led to rumours that Debuchy, who joined the club from top-flight rivals Newcastle in July 2014 for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £12m ($17.5m), could be looking to leave the Emirates Stadium this month. Serie A duo Juventus and Roma have both been credited with an interest in the player over recent weeks, while the Birmingham Mail have suggested that West Brom are eager to secure his services on a temporary basis.
The Baggies already have one Arsenal player on loan at The Hawthorns, although widespread reports have suggested that 20-year-old attacking midfielder Serge Gnabry is set to be recalled early by his parent club after featuring just three times in all competitions since joining on a season-long deal last summer. Current Premier League rules forbid the loaning of more than one player from a rival club, so terminating Gnabry's agreement would leave Pulis free to pursue Debuchy.
Such a deal does not appear to be on the horizon after all, however, with Pulis telling the Express and Star: "I've not said a word to Arsenal and Arsenal have not said a word to me, so that's a definite no."
While West Brom can likely be removed from his list of potential suitors, Debuchy still seems likely to leave Arsenal before the 1 February deadline. Last month, the former Lille stalwart expressed concern that his status as a regular substitute at Arsenal was having a detrimental impact upon his international career ahead of the Euro 2016 finals in France.
"At the moment I need game time," Debuchy told RMC. "I really need to play. Didier Deschamps didn't call me for the last two games (to play for France) so it is obvious. I've got to play more than I do, that is why I want to talk to Wenger soon.
"We need to talk about it, but we already had a chat in pre-season, and we agreed that we would talk again in December if I wasn't happy with my playing time. We're in December, so we'll see."
Wenger has also failed to rule out a possible departure for Debuchy this winter. According to Goal, he said in December: "It is not impossible that he leaves. We will see."