Every January Arsenal fans engage in the time-honoured and always painful ritual that accompanies the club’s dealings in the mid-season transfer market.
For a couple of weeks the Gunners will be linked with every big name under the sun, as various media outlets report details of an impending deal for some £30m-rated star at the peak of his powers and plying his trade in one of Europe’s top leagues.
This speculation will continue right up until the end of the transfer window, before Arsenal finally make their move … by signing someone altogether underwhelming.
Fans of the north London club may well recall the latest edition of this practice back in early 2014, when the club was linked with any number of exotic and expensive players before finally plumping for Kim Kallstrom. On loan.
But there could yet be a fresh twist to this year’s proceedings – Arsenal are reportedly close to signing a player already.
Long-linked with a move to the Emirates, 17-year-old Legia Warsaw whizzkid Krystian Bielik has already drawn comparisons with Patrick Vieira.
Perhaps that’s why Arsene Wenger is so keen to complete deal for the central midfielder, who looks set to sign for the north London club in the next 24 hours.
But before Gooners get all giddy and start popping the Champagne, it’s important to realise what the deal could yet mean for the club.
Long linked with a move for Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, Arsenal remain the 7/2 favourites to land the Germany international from Los Blancos.
And there must be a nagging, if not growing, feeling among some quarters of the Gunners support that a potential deal for the 27-year-old is looking less and less likely.
Arsenal have been here before under Wenger – linked with any number of expensive reinforcements before finally settling for under-the-radar and better-best-forgotten alternatives like Thomas Eisfeld and Amaury Bischoff but to name a few.
Bielik could yet prove to be a canny signing for the Emirates club – there have certainly been plenty of those over the years.
But as time ticks on, the 1/7 on Khedira staying at Real Madrid this month is looking mighty generous.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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