Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that midfielder Francis Coquelin could leave north London for pastures new in the January transfer window but has dismissed suggestions of a move to West Ham United for the Frenchman.
Coquelin has had to make do with a role in the Gunners' second-string squad this season. The former Charlton Athletic loanee has featured regularly in the Carabao Cup and Europa League but has made just one start in the Premier League this season, though he has made six appearances from the substitutes' bench.
Coquelin initially impressed when given a sustained run in Arsenal's first-team in 2015 but his performances were heavily criticised in the second half of the previous campaign, during which the Gunners' season unravelled spectacularly.
Valencia and West Ham have both been linked with £12m moves for Coquelin, who has struggled with hamstring and ankle injuries this season, but while Wenger is open to selling the 26-year-old this month, he quashed speculation of a move to David Moyes' side, insisting that the Hammers have made no contact with Arsenal over a prospective transfer.
"It's a possibility but nothing is decided. It would not be for West Ham," Wenger said in his press conference, per the Mirror. "We have no contact with West Ham.
"The transfer window should be banned to keep our life a bit more focused on football."
Arsenal may facilitate a few departures in the coming weeks with a number of peripheral players searching for game-time ahead of this summer's World Cup but they may also welcome some fresh faces, with West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans high on Wenger's wishlist.
Arsenal have been linked with a move for the former Manchester United star for the past two seasons, but Wenger insists no agreement is in place with West Brom as it stands. The Gunners are in need of a new central defender with Per Mertesacker retiring and Laurent Koscielny, who is forever troubled by an Achilles problem, entering the twilight period of his career, but Wenger is worried a deal for the £25m-rated Evans may be hijacked by fellow interested party Manchester City, who he admits can blow Arsenal out of the financial water.
"We don't have an agreement with anybody. I think the best thing is not to talk," Wenger said. "To see off any interest of any other club, yes. I don't know if Manchester City are in for anybody. I don't know what their policy is.
"If the decision comes to finances against Manchester City, we know we will be second best."