Arsenal's protracted pursuit of midfielder Nuri Sahin may be scuppered, after Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho appeared to suggest he could still go elsewhere.

UK newspaper the Independent, has quoted a press conference where Mourinho said Sahin is interesting a trio of Premier League clubs:

"It is all the same to me, though, which club he goes to. I just hope that it happens soon for him, as it is best for him. Liverpool, Arsenal or Spurs - I have no preference."

That certainly makes it sound as though Arsenal are not as close as some media outlets have suggested, to securing Sahin's signature. Yesterday, the Daily Mail reported that the deal to loan Sahin to Arsenal was already done.

However, today it appears as though the deal is not as straightforward. Arsenal and Real have disagreed over an option to buy Sahin and the comments from Mourinho could be an attempt at persuading Arsenal to drop that provision.

The rivalry between Mourinho and Wenger is deeply entrenched. As much as Madrid may be vying for leverage, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a u-turn that stings Arsenal at the eleventh hour.

Failing to capture Sahin would be a big blow to Arsenal, in the wake of the departures of Robin van Persie and Alex Song. Sahin would be a vital addition to the Gunners' midfield.

His natural class and technique would see him fit in seamlessly with Arsenal's fluid style of play. If the deal collapses, it would send Wenger scrambling to tie up any additional options to replace Song.

However, given the number of twists and turns that have already occured in Arsenal's pursuit of Sahin, don't be surprised if the next reports confirm his signing.