Arsenal have suffered a blow in their race to sign Juventus striker Alessandro Matri. The 28-year-old Italian international has struggled to establish himself as a first team regular under Antonio Conte and there had been speculation that he might favour a move to the Emirates.
However, the player has now commented on his situation and told Tuttosport: "It's clear that I want to play in every game, but I've always felt like the club have backed me, that they have always been close to me. That's a nice thing for players who are not used all of the time.
"When I've been called into action I've been ready and the side hasn't missed who I have replaced. If I am made to feel like an important player then I would prefer to stay at Juventus, rather than join another club who could perhaps offer me more playing time," the former Cagliari forward explained.
Matri has made only 16 Serie A appearances for the defending champions this season, of which only seven were starts. However, his return of six goals underlines his value to the Bianconieri, as does the fact he has featured prominently in the club's European matches. Matri scored the first goal in Juventus's 2-0 second-leg win over Celtic in the midweek Champions League game.
However, Matri has left some room for hope for Gunners fans. The striker confessed that he could still move clubs, if the relationship between himself and the club changed.
"If the time comes where you start to lose faith then it is better to change clubs. Yet that moment hasn't arrived yet. If it does then it will be me who asks to leave," he concluded.
Jenkinson: Arsenal Hoping Spurs Drop Points
Meanwhile, Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson has confessed the north London club are desperately hoping league and derby rivals Tottenham drop points, as the Premier League enters its home stretch.
Arsenal are still chasing Champions League qualification for next season but lie seven points behind Spurs, who are third. Arsene Wenger and his men don't have league duty until 16 March, when they visit Swansea City. And in that time they could drop even further behind the White Hart Lane club, who visit Anfield on Sunday 10 March.
"If we go on a good run now, we'll finish in the top four. I'm sure of that. If you look at Tottenham's run-in, it's quite difficult. They've got some difficult games so we're going to hope that they drop points. If we focus on what we've got to do, I think it will take care of itself," Jenkinson told the club's website.