Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze after the club's sporting director backed the player to remain in Germany next season.

Gotze has impressed for both club and country this season and the 19-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer.

Earlier this month, Gotze - labelled the 'German Messi' by sections of the press - ruled out a move to Arsenal when he revealed he would stay in Dortmund for the foreseeable future.

And Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc has backed the playmaker's decision and insisted the club will not be forced to sell their prized asset, despite Arsenal's interest.

"We agree with Mario that he plays next season in Dortmund. Gotze has a contract until 2014 - we have no reason to sell him," Zorc told German newspaper Bild.

"But I am not a prophet. If tomorrow someone offers one billion euros, then you should think about it."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he is an ardent admirer of the midfielder - who has scored five goals in 14 Bundesliga games this season - and said he would be willing to spend big if the right player was made available.