Arsenal latest: Montolivo agent says Gunners interested; Flamini the leader

All the latest news and gossip from the past 24 hours at The Emirates.

Arsenal have reportedly made contact with AC Milan over the availability of Italian international Ricardo Montolivo.

The Milan captain is reportedly upset with the under-performance of his current side however he is not reportedly on the way - and his agent Giovanni Branchini stated:

"He is very happy with the club to which he belongs, and the club and fans are very satisfied with him. An extension? He has a contract until June 2016, so it is not a priority to talk about an extension at this time. That's a discussion we'll have, I think, next year. Has there been interest from other clubs? There have been tentative enquiries from Atletico Madrid, [Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen] Klopp and Arsenal, to name a few…At the moment, however, I feel it would be very difficult for the player to leave Milan, precisely because of what I said before."

Arsenal take on Everton tomorrow in a lunchtime FA Cup kick-off - and despite promising news over the injuries of Aaron Ramsey and Kim Kallstrom neither will be fit in time for tomorrow.

Of course Jack Wilshere is also out with a broken foot - while there will be late tests for Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal with hamstring and ankle problems respectively.

Meanwhile Everton look unlikely to have Phil Jagielka in action - which will be a plus for The Gunners.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has given a clue to the future of Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla. He admitted that the club were ‘very close’ to agreeing new deals with the two players.

Ramsey is also on the verge of returning to fitness - Wenger saying he is a week away from full fitness.

Arsene Wenger has also backed up Mathieu Flamini to be a leader of the side during their tough March run-in.

Wenger believes his experience will be vital and stated of his leadership qualities:

"His workrate and his balance gives us better security. He does the work that people don't always see. It's not because people don't see it that it's not important. [He provides] that part of important work in the team that stabilises the team and gives them security to express."

image: © DrabikPany

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