Despite conflicting reports on Thursday, it would appear that Arsenal is out of the running to sign Eden Hazard. It had been claimed earlier in the day, by both the Times and the Daily Star, that Arsenal were still contenders for the in-demand Lille star.
But Hazard, himself, seems to have ruled the Gunners out with his latest quotes on the long-running transfer saga.
I do not know when a decision will be made about my future club, he said while on international duty with Belgium, according to Sky Sports.
It will be between Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.
The final choice also depends on how much play that I would get and the position where I play.
Not everyone can say that he can choose from these three clubs.
Arsenal was perhaps the first major club to show an interest in the 21-year-old last summer, but, as the price has increased, the club has long-since ceased to be viewed as serious contenders for his signature.
Boss Arsene Wenger's apparent failure to secure Hazard is likely linked to Goal.com's reports that Arsenal is pursuing Borussia Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa with increased vigor.
The Gunners could face further disappointment, however, with the story claiming that Manchester United have lodged a bid of £13.6 million for the attacking midfielder. With Kagawa having recently met with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, United are considered favorites to sign the 23-year-old, who has just a year remaining on his contract with Dortmund.
If reports are to be believed Arsenal could also be set to go head-to-head with United over the signing of Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud. Wenger is thought to be an admirer of the 25-year-old, who was the joint top scorer in Ligue 1 last season with 21 goals.
But, according to Caught Offside, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is also ready to make a move for Giroud. Further speculation about the French international comes from Mercato365, which claims that Roma are also interested, but that the Gunners remain favorites for his signature.
While at this stage reports of United's interest are unsubstantiated, Arsenal would be advised to act quickly with Giroud set to be in the shop window at Euro 2012.
Despite United's interest, Arsenal could still be in the running to sign Crewe prospect Nick Powell. Earlier in the week the Manchester Evening News wrote that United had agreed a deal for the highly-rated 18-year-old and would formally complete an estimated £4 million deal after Crewe's League Two Playoff Final on Sunday.
But, according to Crewe manager Steve Davis, the report was premature.
At the moment it's just speculation, Davis said, according to TalkSport.
There has been no solid offer from anybody. Nothing will be happening until Sunday's out of the way. Maybe next week we'll know a little bit more.
Powell, an attacking midfielder, recently scooped a clean sweep at Crewe's end of season awards; wining Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Goal of the Season.
Arsenal is also thought to be interested in fellow teenager Foday Nabay. The 13-year-old Sierra Leone-born midfielder is currently on the books of Birmingham and has already represented England at under-16 level.
The Daily Mail reports that Chelsea is also keen on Nobay, along with fellow Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City, although Arsenal remains favorites.