It looked highly likely, dwindled to probable and ultimately became impossible.
Arsenal’s chase for Denis Suarez is finally over because the two sides couldn’t agree on the money.
Barcelona also wanted the loan deal with cash up front, an obligation to buy and the player to sign a contract extension, one assumes to add value to the eventual fee.
Rumour has it that the final asking price after the loan period had changed significantly.
The original transfer figure that Arsenal had in mind was £14 million but during negotiations that increased to £18m, then to £20m and the deal fell apart when Barcelona pushed it in to the plus bracket.
Now Arsenal have to refocus, having spent weeks trying to conclude the signature of their number one target.
They are faced with the prospect of trying to bring in another name on a limited budget with similar skills.
At this stage, cash strapped Arsenal will attempt to go for their second choice option but time is running out.
Unai Emery stated at his press conference that the club were trying to bring in one or two players but at the moment it’s looking as if the window will close minus any new arrivals, unless something miraculous happens.
If that were to happen, it would heap more misery in the North London club that has lost its Head of Recruitment and has had to admit that it can only involve itself in loan deals due to financial issues.
As far as I’m aware Ever Banega, who was heavily linked with Arsenal has now agreed to stay at Sevilla.
So, let’s close that door completely.
Then there is another name linked with Arsenal for the last six or so months, Villarreal’s Pablo Fornals.
£17.8 is said to be the figure to trigger a transfer but it could be even higher for such a quality player and once again, Arsenal are short of funds.
If the Suarez transfer was complicated, can you imagine how tough this one would be to get over the line in 7 days.
Emery could raise funds by selling Elneny, who he will hope to sell for £10m but it’s realistically closer to £8m at a push.
He could let Ramsey go to Juventus early for a fee, but it’s really clutching at straws as much as wishful thinking.
James Rodriguez keeps popping up on the radar and the fee of £3m seems to be popular to obtain his services, but as I noted in an earlier blog, Bayern Munich would be keen to recoup their loses and £3m doesn’t cover that at all, even if Arsenal had it, which they don’t.
German media outlet SportBild claimed that Spanish giants Real Madrid were to receive €10 million over the course of the loan and Bayern had the option to buy for €35.2m in 2019.
Whilst other reports stated that the eventual figure would be closer to €60m to retain the former Monaco midfield.
Isco has been linked with the gunners before the January transfer window and as the Suarez deal died, it seems it’s time to revisit that avenue of possibility.
There was a suggestion of a swap with Arsenal’s much maligned midfielder, Mesut Ozil but that particular piece of gossip has gone cold.
Would Isco cut his wage significantly to fit in at the Emirates ?
Probably not, his annual salary is said to be €6m and although he wants regular football, he also likes the money.
The transfer of Yannick Carrasco could be one deal that is less complicated to do.
If Arsenal could commit to a final figure of £18m, it may be enough to bring him over from China.
Rest assured that wages and loan fees might still be a problem with the clock ticking.
Andreas Pereira is also in the list but unless current club, Manchester United tie him down to an extension, the 23-year-old midfielder can leave in the summer for free.
Theoretically a deal could be done here but United are keen to keep all their squad players until the managers position is resolved.
So, to say it’s looking bleak would be putting it mildly, but did we really expect anything else under the circumstances ?