Arsenal could be about to loan Nuri Sahin, potentially making room in Real Madrid's dressing room for Luka Modric...
"Given their formidable form in the second half of 2011/12 and the anticipated autumn return of Jack Wilshere, a title challenge is far from unthinkable at 15.5."
Friday lunchtime reports in Madrid's two main sports newspapers, Marca and AS, suggest that out-of-favour Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin could be on his way to Arsenal on a season-long loan.
Jose Mourinho said in May that the Turkey international remained in his plans after a first campaign in Spain disrupted by injuries, but with chances expected to be limited, it has since been decided that the best option for his development is to send him somewhere that he will play regularly.
The Premier League has been earmarked as the 23-year-old's most likely destination, with Arsenal referenced specifically. If the Gunners do complete a move then the probability is that they will unintentionally hasten Luka Modric's Tottenham exit by clearing a squad space at Real Madrid.
Sahin might have made a minimal impact at the Bernabeu last season, however on the evidence of his performances prior to that at Borussia Dortmund, particularly in 2010/11 as they got their hands on the Bundesliga title, he could be an inspired addition.
Spurs are thought to have been offered the playmaker as part of a deal taking Modric (1.21/5 to leave) to the Spanish champions yet refused as they don't want a part-exchange, presumably because Andre Villas-Boas intends to sign Porto's Joao Moutinho as the Croatian's replacement.
Though the Robin van Persie saga is a nuisance - the PFA player of the year won't negotiate a new contract and is 1.3130/100 to go this summer - Arsenal's transactions have been very impressive, with Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud arriving and Santi Cazorla and now Sahin potentially following.
Given their formidable form in the second half of 2011/12 - Manchester City and Manchester United collected only two points more over the final 15 games - and the anticipated autumn return of Jack Wilshere, a title challenge is far from unthinkable at 15.5.
The holders haven't been as active in the transfer window as even boss Roberto Mancini had hoped, so the gap between the clubs has arguably narrowed over the last two months.