Defiant Johan Djourou has tonight committed his future to Arsenal and emphatically denied he ever wanted a move away from the Emirates.
Various seemingly erroneous reports suggested Djourou, 25, targeted a move to Italy because he was fed-up with Arsene Wenger and the Gunners after making just 14 Premier League starts during the last campaign.
But sufficiently stung by the rumours, he has taken to Twitter to deny wanting to leave the club and end speculation as to his future. He tweeted: “I just wanted to deny all what have been said in the press about my transfer. It isn’t true at all. I have been at Arsenal since 10 years now and I m always commited to this club.”
The original story came about when Djourou’s agent hinted that his player could move to Italy or Spain this summer, with Serie A’s Juventus and Napoli clubs in the mix and a £10million fee being touted.
Djourou has a contract at Arsenal that runs until 2015, and he was said to be miffed at his lack of playing time while also upset at being played out of position by Wenger. Switzerland international Djourou prefers to play at centre-back but made many of his appearances at right-back.
It all stems from quotes attributed to his agent, Flavio Ferraria, who is supposed to have said: “At the moment Napoli are not on the list of appointments but everything is possible. If he leaves the Premier League he will play in Italy or Spain.
“I saw my client the other day and he was enthusiastic about both Napoli and Italy in general. So far we have received an offer worth £10m. He wants to play for one of the top five Italian clubs.”
Back in February, Djourou signed a new deal with Arsenal to keep him at the Emirates for another three years.
The defender put pen to paper on a contract extension despite finding himself below the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in the pecking order of centre-backs. At the time he said: “I love Arsenal. I’m working in the shadows at present and waiting for another chance.”
CARL ELDRIDGE – on Twitter @eldomedia