Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has ruled out the possibility of selling Raheem Sterling, insisting there is "no chance" the England international will be allowed to leave the Etihad Stadium.
In the final days of the summer transfer window, reports suggested that City had made a desperate attempt to bring Alexis Sanchez to the club by offering Sterling in a cash-plus-player deal. Guardiola later claimed that it was actually Arsenal who had submitted the proposal, one which was emphatically rejected by the two-time Premier League champions.
Those rumours resurfaced last week, claiming Arsenal were prepared to allow Sanchez to leave in January, provided they could secure Sterling in a swap deal.
City have been linked with a £20m (€22.8m, $26.9m) move for the striker in the January transfer window but Wenger is reluctant to sell halfway through the season, as he feels parting ways with Sanchez would undermine his side's chances of securing a top-four finish.
According to the Mirror, Arsenal were ready test City's resolve in January by launching another bid for Sterling, even though Guardiola has previously claimed he will not listen to offers for the player.
"Raz [Raheem] is staying here," Guardiola was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. "The club trust him, that is why we have invested a lot of money in him, so the players we have are going to stay.
"If they want to leave they are going to leave, but he wants to stay. If players want to leave they have to ask the chairman, but there is no chance of that. He is going nowhere."
The former Liverpool winger has hit the ground running this season, scoring five goals in five Premier League appearances so far, just two short of his tally from last term.
Sterling has just under three years left on his current contract but City are reportedly prepared to tie him down to a new and improved deal. The league leaders are also set to open talks with Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva.
Guardiola is determined to lower his side's average age in a bid to ensure a period of sustained dominance rather than just short-term success can be achieved. Of his current 23-man squad, only five are older than 30, with eight players aged between 26 and 29 and 10 younger than the squad's average age of 25 1/2 years.