Respected story-breaker David Ornstein has explained on an official BBC social media account that Manchester United have lost the transfer battle involving Thomas Vermaelen as the Arsenal centre back will be sold to Barcelona in a £15 million deal.
The funds received from the move will likely the player's replacement, with the BBC indicating that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger will re-enter the transfer market in order to fill two problem areas - central defence and defensive midfield.
This, on top of four summer acquisitions already having confirmed the transfers of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers earlier in the summer window.
Ornstein said: "Arsenal and Barcelona agree fee of around £15m for Vermaelen. The terms and medical examination [will be completed] over the weekend. Manchester United ended [their] interest after refusing a player swap."
He added: "Arsenal continue search Vermaelen replacement and also in market for a defensive midfielder, but may sign one player who can perform both roles."
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Wenger confirmed that he is not against increased spending, after already signing a combined £61 million worth of talent.
"I cannot give you any names specifically who will join us at the moment," he is quoted by the club's official website to have said. "We are not close to signing anybody and it will be the wrong information. We have still three-and-a-half weeks before the transfer market is closed and we are open to it.
"At the moment I can’t give you any news but we have not closed the door."
If Wenger is after a utility player, a footballer who can be relied on to excel in multiple positions (akin to the adaptability of Chambers), then the speculation that the Frenchman has moved on from Sami Khedira in order to pursue William Carvalho will gain added credence.
The 22-year-old has played in the heart of Sporting Lisbon's defence as well as, more frequently, in a holding midfield position.