Transfer news: Manager Arsene Wenger confirms Arsenal are not in negotiations over a £2m move for Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the Bulgarian after Wenger confirmed earlier this week that he would like to sign a 'quality striker'

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger has dismissed speculation that Arsenal are currently in negotiations with Fulham regarding a £2m move for striker Dimitar Berbatov, despite widespread reports that the Gunners will move to sign the Bulgarian international.

Wenger admitted earlier in the week that he is in the market for a “quality striker” but that he would not be rushed into a move or sign someone for the sake of it.

However, heading into the FA Cup north London derby against Tottenham on Saturday, Wenger looks set to be without star striker Olivier Giroud, while his replacement Nicklas Bendtner has already been ruled out for a number of weeks having injured his ankle while scoring in the New Year’s Day victory over Cardiff.

Despite the minor injury crisis in attack – Arsenal can still deploy either Lukas Podolski or Theo Walcott as a lone striker – Wenger stressed at his pre-match press conference that he is not looking at Berbatov for the time being.

“He is not a name we have considered at the moment,” Wenger revealed. “We have not contacted anybody.

“We are just considering our options. I must confess they are quite restricted.”

Many pundits have dismissed the Gunners Premier League title credentials unless they bring in another leading striker to share the workload with Giroud, with the Frenchman carrying the burdon for the bulk of the season so far.

Arsenal have been linked with a move for either Alvaro Morata or Karim Benzema, both of Real Madrid, although manager Carlo Ancelotti has made it clear that neither player (or anyone else from his squad) will be leaving in January.

There has also been widespread reports that Wenger had his scouts fly to Spain to watch Brazilian-born Spaniard Diego Costa, who is reported to have a £32m release clause in his recently signed contract.

While a move for Costa would no doubt fulfil those demands to bring in another striker to fire them to much-desired silverware, Costa is unlikely to want a move away from Atletico Madrid at the time being, as he his main aim is to help the La Liga club in their battle with Barcelona and Real while attempting to cement his place in Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain squad for the World Cup in the summer.