Arsene Wenger has rejected suggestions Arsenal are ready to move for out-of-favour Chelsea defender David Luiz.
Arsenal host the Premier League champions at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, with Brazil international David Luiz out of the first-team picture.
The 30-year-old was unceremoniously dropped by Antonio Conte following a 3-0 Champions League defeat at Roma in October and has been restricted to one subsequent first-team appearance, with an untimely knee injury also hindering his progress.
Wenger told a pre-match news conference that he would look for January recruits but dismissed reports he is ready to offer David Luiz an escape route across London.
“I don’t want to speak about any special names but these reports are wrong,” he said.
Asked to clarify whether this was a dismissal of the David Luiz links, Wenger responded: “Yes.”
Wenger acknowledged Arsenal’s troublesome injury situation could inform their January business, with Sead Kolasinac (knee) joining fellow full-back Nacho Monreal (ankle), striker Olivier Giroud and midfielder Aaron Ramsey (both hamstring) on the sidelines after limping out of the 1-1 draw at West Brom.
Centre-back Laurent Koscielny was also replaced at The Hawthorns but has a slight chance of facing Chelsea, along with Mesut Ozil (knee).
“At the moment our injury list is quite long because we lost Kolasinac in the game, we lost Koscielny and we had already Monreal, Giroud, Ramsey and Ozil out,” Wenger said.
“The two who have a little chance are Ozil – he might have a test this morning but he has not trained at all since Crystal Palace – and Koscielny, although the medical prognosis on him yesterday was not good. He is 30 available, 70 not.
“We have a squad equipped to deal with this, as we have shown in the Europa League and EFL Cup, but we cannot afford to lose any more players.”
Arsenal lie fifth, six points shy of the top four, but Wenger is relaxed about their position in the Premier League table ahead of a crunch clash.
“The gap is not big at the moment,” he said. “We know that our home form will be absolutely vital.
“We’ve come back from West Brom frustrated because we lost two points and we know it puts us under pressure to have a big result tomorrow.”
Arsenal also take on Chelsea in a two-legged EFL Cup semi-final this month and Wenger added: “In the last two years we have played Chelsea many times and it has normally been tight results, except last season when we won 3-0.
“Chelsea come back for big battles and they are in good form at the moment.”