Arsene Wenger is set to continue his controversial youth policy, by bidding for two French youngsters. Those expecting Arsenal to splash the cash and secure marquee, established talent, may be disappointed by the rumours Wenger is considering moves for teenagers Gilbert Imbula and George-Kevin Nkoudou.
The Daily Mail links Arsenal with an £8 million move for Imbula. The 20-year-old is a highly-touted defensive midfielder playing for Guingamp. The Daily Mirror suggests the Gunners could pay £1 million for Nkoudou. The 17-year-old, cat-quick and tricky winger is gaining plaudits for his performances with Nantes.
The youthful pair both play in French football's second tier. That's hardly likely to rate as a suitable qualification for upgrading Arsenal, among sections of the club's fans.
Wenger's adherence to scouting and acquiring young potential has raised the ire of some Arsenal supporters. Many believe the Gunners need established names to bridge the gap between Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs.
These critics would contend that it's Wenger's insistence on developing, rather than spending for stars, that keeps Arsenal trailing the biggest clubs. Indeed, it could be argued that this model of team-building has helped turn Arsenal into a selling club.
After all, developing potential into elite-level talent, takes time. In that time Arsenal are subject to the mistakes of youth. This has often prevented them from capturing silverware.
The problem of course is that the lack of trophies can give those same young prospects wandering eyes. By the time Wenger has turned prospects into world class first team players, they often want to leave in search of the awards their very development has precluded.
Recent transfer windows have been defined by painful examples from this mass exodus. Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie rank as the most prominent defections. However, the likes of Alex Song and Gael Clichy are also products of Wenger's youth system who have opted for pastures new.
Wenger's knack for developing talent is still strong. That's evidenced by recently re-signed youngsters Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson. However, with an eighth trophyless season fast approaching, this may not be the time for Wenger to remind everyone he can still spot potential.
Arsenal are currently six points shy of the top four and Wenger is besieged by criticism and pressure. The patience and trust needed for his youth policy to work, is at an all-time low. Delving into the transfer market for two more prospects, at the expense of ready-made stars, is likely to further antagonise those who believe the Frenchman's time is up.
If Wenger does press on and pursue Imbula and Nkoudou regardless, it will be a defiant reminder that while he is in charge, Arsenal will continue to build a certain way.