Kieran Richardson has been linked to Arsenal
Blackburn Rover's Mauro Formica (L) challenges Sunderland's Kieran Richardson during their English Premier League soccer match in Sunderland, northern England December 11, 2011.

Arsenal have not made an approach for Kieran Richardson according to Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill.

Arsene Wenger has in recent weeks been rumoured to be considering the former Old Trafford youngster as a possible alternative to the injured pair of Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos, as Arsenal look to negotiate a host of problems in their fullback positions.

Arsenal have been linked with a host of defenders in recent weeks, most notably Wayne Bridge and the aforementioned Richardson, but the latter appears unlikely according to O'Neill.

"Arsenal have not been in touch with me, I don't know anything about it." O'Neill told the Daily Telegraph.

"I asked the chief executive as well and she said no, there hasn't been anybody in touch yet."

While rumours of Arsenal's alleged interest in Richardson are currently unfounded, O'Neill suggested there would come a stage when players would be coveted, particularly during the January transfer window.

"But what I have said is that I would keep players informed about what is happening.

He continued: "But regardless of whether you are going to be doing business or not, you are going to be linked with players, clubs are going to be linked with some of our players, and at this minute we are hanging in there."

While Arsenal have not firmed up their reported interest in the Sunderland defender, Thierry Henry has finally completed his long awaited return to the Emirates.

The protracted two-month loan deal had been held up over negotiations regarding the 34-year-old Frenchman's insurance, but Arsenal announced the transfer on Friday.

Arsene Wenger told the club's official website: "I am very happy. I am sure during these two months he will be a massive asset to the team in the dressing room and on the pitch."

Thierry Henry scored 226 goals in his first spell at the club and remains Arsenal record goalscorer. Henry will be available for the Gunners' FA Cup tie against Leeds on Monday.