Not for the first time, Arsenal have been linked with a £30 million swoop for Borussia Dortmund starlet Mario Gotze.
The 20-year-old central midfielder is an outstanding talent who has been taking his career to a new level this season, but the Bundesliga champions will not want to sell.
In nine league starts this season Gotze has four goals and three assists, along with one goal and two assists in the Champions League, with Dortmund racing to the top of a group which includes Manchester City and Real Madrid.
There is of course no guarantee that a £30 million deal would secure his signature, Dortmund are likely to demand closer to £40 million for a player who has the potential to go on and dominate football for the next decade to come.
The intricacies of the price aren't the point here though, Arsenal have another young German signed for just £420,000 in January who fans have not stopped raving about, and its easy to see why.
We are talking about Thomas Eisfeld, who has impressed every single time he has been given the chance in either pre-season or in the League Cup, and as his brace for the under-21s last week showed, he is quickly outgrowing that level and needs regular first team chances sooner rather than later.
Yet it won't be easy, his idol Tomas Rosicky has just leapt ahead of him in the queue, back on the bench last night and could start this weekend against Swansea.
Rosicky is competing for a central midfield spot with Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla. Which one of those should make way for him to play?
It's a tough choice, one which will only be complicated if and when Abou Diaby returns from injury. How can you pick just three out of those five?
It's little wonder Eisfeld is finding himself struggling for the opportunities he deserves; and this would only multiply if Arsenal were to sign Gotze, who as we have stated is a terrific talent but the Gunners may have one just as good under their noses.
Can he be as good? It's early to say, but he is just a year younger, and has so far exceeded every expectation asked of him, arguably Arsenal's most impressive player on their pre-season tour, perormances which had fans crowing 'He's as good as Gotze' at the time. Unless he gets the chance to show what he can do in the first team, the club will never know.
If Gotze is signed, bearing in mind the huge talent already in front of Eisfeld, he may just never break through, and look to quit the club. Dortmund could even demand him back in part-exchange.
So Arsenal would have their man in Gotze, and few fans would be unhappy with that, but it won't be lost on the frugal Wenger that he could avoid spending £30 million plus by playing a youngster signed for a pittance.
Who should be Arsenal's preferred midfield three? Do they need Gotze?
image: © wonker