Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has closed the door on Arsenal’s proposed move for Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega.
Arsenal secured a loan move for Barcelona star Denis Suarez in January as Emery looked for a solution to the Gunners’ lack of guile in midfield, although the Spanish star is not expected to complete a permanent transfer in summer – meaning the search continues.
Rumours of Emery reigniting his interest in Banega have emerged, but Balague has now thrown cold water over those claims. The Spainard called the deal 'old news' and said he expects Arsenal to identify new targets in the summer.
He told The Sport Review: “Those are reports [Banega to Arsenal] that keep coming into the media every now and again. It’s very old news and I’m pretty sure that Arsenal are not looking for that kind of player.”
Banega has 25 goals from 178 appearances for Sevilla, eight of which have come in his current campaign. He also played under Emery in his final two seasons in charge of the club as they lifted back-to-back Europa League trophies.
Reports suggested the Spaniard was eager to reunite with the midfield star as he seeks a replacement for Mesut Ozil. The controversial German playmaker has been the subject of some ire this season, despite signing a new bumper contract last year.
His performances have seen him sidelined by Emery, with rumours of an uneasy relationship between the pair. The new Gunners’ boss may not have got the best out of the former World Cup winner this season but he remains a notable absence from the starting lineup.
Ozil returned to the fold for Arsenal as they overturned a potentially embarrassing Europa League first leg deficit against BATE Borisov, leading to fans imploring Emery to make up with the playmaker at least until the end of the season.