Wolfsburg on Thursday evening issued a statement to rubbish former Arsenal target Julian Draxler’s claims after the player went public over his desire to move to a bigger club this summer.

The 22-year-old winger moved to Volkswagen Arena last summer but recently, in an interview with German publication Bild, said that he had reached an agreement with Wolfsburg to depart the club any time if “top international clubs” came calling. However, the Bundesliga club rubbished his claims, stating no such verbal or written commitments were made at the time of his transfer. They proceeded to claim that he would be allowed to leave next summer if his release clause (£62million) were met.

Arsenal have begun talks with Valencia and Shkodran Mustafi over a summer transfer, Sky Sports reports.

The Gunners are on the lookout for centre-backs to stand in Per Mertesacker, who is pencilled in to spend at least five months on the sidelines after sustaining a knee injury in the 1-1 draw with Lens. Many names, including Semih Kaya and Kalidou Koulibaly, have been murmured.

Claudio Ranieri branded Arsenal target Riyad Mahrez as Leicester City’s only champion during an interview with ESPN, in a desperate attempt to keep the alleged wantaway midfielder at King Power Stadium next season.

The 25-year-old midfielder has been linked with an Emirates Stadium switch all summer. The rumours have picked up more momentum, with reports suggesting the Leicester head honchos met in Los Angeles to discuss the player’s future. In addition, English tabloid Metro validated the links as they pointed out his absence in Leicester’s team picture.

Pre-season friendly, Arsenal v Lens

Kick-off: Fri 22nd Jul 19.00 Venue: Stade Bollaert-Delelis

Arsenal begin pre-season preparations as they travel to the north of France for the friendly match against the Ligue 2 side RC Lens.

Olivier Giroud’s agent, Michael Manuello, on Monday, branded reports linking the striker with a summer switch to Napoli as untrue.

Giroud had been rumoured to be involved in a cash-plus-player bid to lure €97 million-rated Gonzalo Higuain to Arsenal, but his agent, whilst speaking to TuttoMercatoWeb, claimed that he and Giroud had not mulled over a move away from Emirates Stadium.