FC Basel have confirmed a Premier League club's interest in defender Aleksandar Dragovic but the Swiss champions say no agreement has been reached over the Austrian international's future. The 22-year-old was linked with a move to the Emirates after reportedly impressing Arsene Wenger with his performance against Tottenham, in the quarter final of the UEFA Europa League.
"I know there is interest especially from England. There's also interest from Germany, Russia and Italy - but no deal has been reached," Georg Heitz, Basel's sporting director.
The Metro believes Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, Russians Anzhi Makhachkala and Serie A giant AC Milan are interested in the defender. Wenger is, however, expected to be the favourite to sign him and a fee of £6m has been suggested.
Should the Austrian find his way to north London, he will likely be a replacement for Swiss international Johan Djourou, who is considered surplus to requirements at the Emirates and is presently on loan to German club Hannover 96. In addition, Dragovic will offer Wenger depth and options in the centre of defence, particularly with rumours linking Belgian centre-back Thomas Vermaelen with a move to Barcelona.
Wenger on Steve Sidwell Challenge
Meanwhile, Wenger was livid after Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell's tackle on Mikel Arteta. The Gunners visited Craven Cottage on Saturday and registered a narrow 1-0 win, helped by the fact Sidwell saw a red card for that challenge.
"I think the referee could only give a red card [to Sidwell],'' Wenger said, "We will see [if Arteta is OK]. He played the second half. I don't know how much damage is done. It is a kick, a bad kick."
Sidwell found little comfort from his own manager as well, with Martin Jol admitting: "I can't defend him, because that would only sound ridiculous. I was annoyed with him."
The win means Arsenal return to third place in the Premier League, two points ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham. However, both those clubs have two games in hand over Wenger's men. One each of those games will be played on Sunday evening, with Andre Villas-Boas' men hosting Manchester City and Chelsea travelling to Liverpool.