Wenger confirms Squillaci hope

Gunners boss looking for defensive reinforcements

Squillaci: Arsenal interest

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Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal are hoping to sign Sebastien Squillaci from Sevilla, but insists a deal is still some way from being completed.

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The France international asked to be left out of the starting XI as the Spanish side clashed with Braga in their UEFA Champions League play-off to avoid being cup-tied for European competition.

Sevilla revealed that the Gunners' initial offer for the 30-year-old had been rejected but it appears Squillaci has his heart set on a move to Emirates Stadium.

Wenger is keen to add to his defensive ranks having seen William Gallas, Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre all depart over the summer.

And while he confirmed his interest in the former Lyon and Monaco man, the French tactician claimed he was just one of a number of transfer targets.

"He is one of the players we look at," Wenger said.

"With central defenders we are short number-wise, so we look at him, but we are far from being close to signing him."

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Meanwhile, Squillaci will not be considered for selection by Sevilla for Saturday night's Spanish Supercup second leg away to Barcelona.

The defender's request to be left out against Braga left coach Antonio Alvarez angry at the time, but he now says the issue is water under the bridge.

"I didn't like the fact that he didn't want to play (against Braga), but the circumstances turned out that way," he said at a press conference.

"I wasn't going to lose a lot of time thinking about what could happen. I turned over a new page and forgot about the issue."

Squillaci's decision was reported to have caused unrest in the Sevilla dressing room before the Braga match, which the Spanish side lost 1-0 in Portugal, but Alvarez says those stories are false.

"Nothing happened," he said. "I got the players together, told them that Squillaci wouldn't play and that (Federico) Fazio would start in his place."