Arsenal could face more resistance than they expected in their pursuit of Freiburg midfielder Matthias Ginter after the Bundesliga club dismissed claims of a done deal as “nonsense”.
Manager Arsene Wenger wants a physical presence to bloster the heart of the Gunners’ midfield and it was reported over the weekend that a £6.1m deal had been agreed that would see the 6ft-plus German move to north London.
But Freiburg’s sporting director Joachim Saier rubbished the claims and revealed that Arsenal have yet to lodge an official offer for Ginter, and he made it clear that it will take more than what is being reported to lure the 19-year-old away from Mage Solar Stadion.
“There have been no offers for Matthias, and to suggest we have agreed a fee, as mentioned, is nonsense,” said Saier. “The fact of the matter is, we have no thoughts about selling him.”
Although Saier’s comments appear to be an attempt at forcing Arsenal to up their bid, it is believed that the club genuinely want to hold onto their academy graduate.
Ginter made his debut towards the end of the 2011/12 season and marked the occasion by scoring the winning goal two minutes from time in a relegation crunch clash against Ausburg and steer his side to safety. The winner also saw him become the club’s youngest ever player to score in the Bundesliga.
Having established himself in a holding midfield role with the club, he helped them to progress last season and qualify for the Europa League through a fifth-place finish, narrowly missing out on the Champions League which would have seen them in Europe’s premier competition for the first time in their history.
His performances for the national under-21 side attracted Wenger’s attention, and he is keen to add a Patrick Vieira-like physical midfielder, having seen his previous hope for the role Abou Diaby struck with yet another long-term injury last season.
The Gunners will be hopeful that their good relation with Freiburg will assist in a move going through, having allowed defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin to join the German club on-loan for the season.
Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Marouane Fellain of Everton, but there is yet to be any official bid for the Belgian international and Manchester United are also believed to be monitoring the situation.