Arsenal keep a close eye on 25-year-old England international

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London club manager has denied reports linking Gunners with a move for John Stones but has hinted that injuries at defender could ‘modify’ the club’s transfer plans and he has a wishlist in mind.

Arsenal are believed to be keen to bring in a left-sided centre-back on a short-term deal after Calum Chambers picked up an injury with Bournemouth, while Shkodran Mustafi is available to leave the Emirates if a suitable offer is received.

Mikel knows England international well from their time together at Man City, but the Spanish tactician is not plotting a reunion despite being open to bolstering his defence.

Asked for an update on any transfer business Gunners are hoping to conduct this month, Mikel said at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday: ‘Bad news for you guys I have nothing to say yet.’ Probed specifically on John, Mikel said there was ‘no truth at all’ in the speculation while he also denied any interest in Milan star Franck Kessie.

On English centre-back, he added: ‘John is a footballer that I like, and I followed. We added him when I was at Man City, and I worked with him for many years and know him well. ‘When I look at defenders, he has many attributes that I like from one, but we’re not interested.’

Asked if Gunners are looking short at the back-line and whether they would address that in the winter window Mikel continued: ‘Yeah we have a lot of injuries at the back. The fact as well that Chambers got the big injury. Obviously, that is modifying our plans.

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