The morning gossip columns will have kicked Friday off in totally the wrong fashion for Arsenal fans, thanks to reports suggesting Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will be furnished with £150m for yet another recruitment drive.
Like several of the Premier League’s most celebrated clubs, the Gunners have had to become accustomed to City’s elevated status turning the heads of their best players over recent years.
Liverpool lost Raheem Sterling to the Citizens’ advances last summer before Everton’s John Stones followed suit most recently for a similarly eye-watering amount, yet Arsenal is a more acute case altogether.
The list of City defectors already takes in Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri and Bacary Sagna since 2009, so Arsene Wenger could hardly do with Hector Bellerin augmenting it, but that could be on the cards.
The Daily Mirror say Guardiola has specifically targeted Bellerin, who has been a revelation at right-back for the north Londoners over the past two seasons, making the Premier League team of 2015/16.
It’s believed the former Bayern Munich boss will bid £40m for the 21-year-old’s signature as his current right-back options of Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta are both the wrong side of 30.
But that isn’t where Guardiola’s plans to flesh out a squad that already received a £175m face lift in his first transfer window will stop.
As the Spaniard plots to loosen La Liga’s iron grip on the Champions League trophy and usher in a new era of City domination at home and on the continent, big-money moves for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Chelsea target Leonardo Bonucci are also in the pipeline.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing