Arsenal face a fight if they hope to sign Edin Dzeko in the summer with Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini claiming that the striker is not for sale.
Dzeko is believed to be one of Arsene Wenger's top targets in the lead-up to the January transfer window as the manager searches for more support for Olivier Giroud in attack.
The Bosnia international has scored seven times in 14 appearances for City so far this season but is believed to be frustrated with a lack of playing time for the side as Segrio Aguero takes the spotlight.
But Pellegrini insists that Dzeko won't be sold in January and is an important member of the side as they look to challenge Arsenal for top spot in the table.
"No, that is not the case [that Dzeko could be sold]," he told reporters. "I put my trust in him before the season and I have just as much trust in him now.
"It is very important for this club to have a good squad because we have a lot of games to play from now until April and, if we want to win trophies, we need important players.
"Maybe at the moment he is not playing as much as he would like, but he remains an important part of the squad."
Arsenal would already face somewhat of a challenge in taking a player from a rival in their own push to win the title but it appears that Wenger will need to come up with alternatives if he hopes to sign a big-name striker in January.
City are currently third in the table and have had a turbulent start to the season with Pellegrini taking charge from Roberto Mancini. They thrashed the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United but are still trying to find the consistency that put them in a favourable position two seasons ago when they eventually lifted the title for the first time since 1968.