Joseph Yobo

Defender Joseph Yobo has played down speculations linking him with a move to Arsenal.

The Nigerian is currently a free agent, after his contract with  was terminated on a mutual agreement this summer. And recent reports linked the former Everton star with a move to the Gunners, who are desperately short of senior figures in defence.

Arsene Wenger's men now find themselves struggling at the back, with just four fit senior defenders. With Mathieu Debuchy sidelined for a few months, teenagers Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin are expected to feature prominently this term but the north London club is still short of bodies for the centre-back role.

However, Arsene Wenger can add two more players to his club's Premier League squad before the transfer window reopens in January, and Yobo's name has been featuring prominently in reports of late. However, the defender has now dismissed the Arsenal rumours, stating he is unaware of any developments on that front.

"I read Arsenal was interested in me; it was news to me. If negotiations are taking place, I am not aware. Maybe the club is talking with my agent. There is no formal contact with anybody," the Express quoted the 34-year-old as saying.

Yobo also revealed that Wenger was an ardent admirer of his game a few years back, and had looked to pair him with Kolo Toure at the heart of Arsenal's defence, after Sol Campbell left the club for Portsmouth in 2006.

"I know Arsene Wenger admires me a lot and wanted me to replace Sol Campbell some years ago, but Everton blocked the move. He wanted me to partner Kolo Toure in defence; I was younger then."

Yobo, who spent eight seasons with Everton from 2002 to 2010, had returned to England for the second half of last season, joining Norwich City on loan. And though the Canaries ended up being relegated, some of Yobo's performances stood out, especially in the 1-0 win over eventual champions Manchester City in February.