Arsenal is likely to have to wait several more weeks before learning the fate of their number one transfer target, Yann M'Vila, and must now be increasingly concerned that he will slip through their grasp.
It has now been reported by Metro that Rennes will wait until after Euro 2012 before negotiating the want-away defensive midfielder's transfer.
With Rennes clearly attempting to maximize their transfer fee, the news comes as a major blow to Arsenal. The club will fear that if M'Vila impresses this summer they risk being blown out of the water if an auction begins for his services among Europe's elite clubs.
It would not be the first time that Arsenal has faced that scenario following the transfer of Eden Hazard, who boss Arsene Wenger had identified as a target since at least last summer. If the Gunners were to also miss out on M'Vila then serious questions would again be asked of the club's ambition and ability to compete with England and Europe's best.
And Wenger will also be nervously watching Euro 2012, likely hoping that another target fails to set the competition alight. M'Vila's France teammate Olivier Giroud has said that he will wait until after the championships to decide where he'll be playing next season.
I am calm and I know I'm on the market, Giroud said, according to TalkSport.
But I have a contract with Montpellier and after Euro 2012 we will value the various offers and decide which is best for us all.
The Montpellier striker has been strongly linked to Arsenal as they look to either replace or provide goal-scoring support for Robin Van Persie next season.
With the future of Andrey Arshavin and Yossi Benayoun still uncertain, Arsenal could also be looking to recruit an attacking midfielder this summer. It is unlikely that the new singing will be Hernanes, though. Speculation has suggested in recent weeks that the Brazilian would be leaving Lazio this summer, but Hernanes has said there is no foundation to those stories.
I don't have any plans to move, he said, according to ESPN. I have also heard those rumors but there is no truth in what is being said. I am leaving for Brazil for 15 days and then I will return to Rome to begin pre-season training with Lazio.''
Hernanes has scored 19 goals in 62 Serie A appearances since moving to Rome from Sao Paulo in 2010.
The Gunners may have better luck trying to lure Hernanes' Lazio teammate, Stefan Radu, away from the Italian capital, however. Sky Sports has claimed that both Arsenal and Manchester City are strongly interested in the Romanian defender. And Radu's agent has now revealed that his client is open to offers.
We'll work with anyone in England and three clubs are very interested in Stefan, Victor Becali said, according to Tribal Football. If there is an offer that Lazio will accept, a change will be considered.
Otherwise he is happy in Rome and has a contract until 2016.
Arsenal has received a further come-and-get-me plea from reported target Clint Dempsey. The U.S. international has reiterated his desire for a move away from Fulham in order to regularly compete against the world's best.
The transfer window is open until August 31--it's no secret that I would like to play Champions League one day in my career, he said, according to Sky Sports.
If it's meant to be, it will be.
What I do is focus on the teams that I play for and I give my heart to them, work as hard as I can to try to make the most of my time and make the most of the career that I have left, he added.