Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal is not about to offer Didier Drogba an escape route back to England from China.
After helping the Blues win the Champions League final in a dramatic penalty shootout, the 34-year-old Ivory Coast striker left Chelsea for Shanghai Shenhua on a lucrative free-transfer.
However, after an apparent power struggle behind the scenes at the Chinese Super League club, it had been reported Drogba was looking for a way out and could even be released from his deal, said to be worth in excess of 200,000 pounds ($322,480) a week -- with Liverpool and Real Madrid also possible destinations.
Those suggestions, however, have since been played down by the striker's UK management company.
Arsenal previously tracked Drogba when he was at Le Mans and Guingamp.
Wenger, though, claims the Gunners were not preparing to go back into the market for the former Monaco frontman, who gave their defense so much trouble during his eight years at Chelsea.
"At the moment no. In my opinion he is not free. He has just left England," said the Arsenal manager. "I don't know about the situation because he came out with a completely different statement. You hear he might go to Real Madrid -- but then he says 'I am staying in China'. Is it just because he wants to be paid off? I don't know."