Arsene Wenger plays down interest in Raheem Sterling and Paulo Dybala

LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has distanced himself from reports that he is planning a move to sign Liverpool's Raheem Sterling or Palermo forward Paulo Dybala next summer.

In an interview with the BBC on Wednesday, Sterling suggested he was flattered by reported interest from the Gunners in the midst of a contract wrangle with his current club.

But with Arsenal playing Liverpool at the Emirates on Saturday, Wenger was quick to dismiss suggestions that he is eyeing up a move for the 20-year-old England winger.

"Look, I do not want to speak about any moves," Wenger said in his prematch news conference. "We are not in a transfer window and we are in front of a big game. I respect Liverpool and do not want to go into any supposed move for any of their players.

"Raheem Sterling is a top player. Everybody knows that in the country now. He is an important player for Liverpool. I don't want to interfere in that 48 hours before a match. That is down to Liverpool. It's not my problem."

Wenger also denied that he has made a bid to sign Palermo forward Paulo Dybala.

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini stated earlier this week that Arsenal were among the clubs that had lodged a bid to sign the forward -- who is valued at €40m by his club -- but Wenger was quick to dismiss those claims.

"Ask him to show you the offer," was Wenger's challenge to Zamparini, before he was asked whether he had any interest in Dybala and responded: "Not at all."

Meanwhile, the French boss hinted injury prone midfielder Abou Diaby could still have a future at Arsenal, despite reports last month that said his contract will not be renewed when it expires this summer.

Diaby, who has made just two first-team appearances for the Gunners in the last two seasons, came through a practice match on Tuesday and could be in line to return to competitive action in the final weeks of the season.

However, Wenger indicated his future at the club depends on how he performs in the final games of this Premier League campaign.

"I had a chat with him and told him how I can envisage the future," he added. "He has to make a decision. Of course, he understands completely that he has to perform and to how that he can present in a consistent way. I will see where we go from there.

"I don't want to go into details. We have to meet again to see where we go from, but I told him what I think. It has to be linked a little bit with his presence."