Arsenal have been discounted from the chase for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar by Schalke.
You can understand Schalke not wanting to let their star striker go. And you can sense their frustration at not having sorted out his contract until it got to the point where there were only a few months left to run.
It is a worrying feeling Arsenal know only too well, having been forced to sell off Van Persie in the summer and trying to cling onto Walcott at present.
But for the moment, the hunted has become the hunter, and it is Huntelaar who Arsenal are hoping to snare.
The prolific Dutchman 'does not know his own future' according to his agent, who alluded that he could well be off in January.
If he is not off for free in the summer, he is likely to be available at a knock-down price this January, with figures as low as £6 million being mentioned.
However Schalke aren't having any of it, not from Arsenal anyway.
Their general manager Horst Heldt said yesterday: "If someone comes to us six months before the expiry date, and has a lot of money, we will deal with it. From Arsenal circles we hear there is no money anyway."
Either he has his facts wrong, or there is something seriously wrong in the Arsenal boardroom.
Arsenal sold Van Persie and Alex Song for a combined £39 million late in the summer after making their signings, and it was thought this money would be available to spend this time around.
On top of that, the club have just signed a £150 million sponsorship deal with Emirates which would see them gain an extra £30 million per season.
And Horst Heldt is seriously claiming Arsenal can't afford £6 million for Huntelaar?
Either he is off his rocker, or Arsenal are. Because if they won't sanction a transfer for such an outstanding player at such a knockdown price, there is something wrong at the top.
Our theory is that Heldt is simply being mischievious. Perhaps he knows Huntelaar to Arsenal is a done deal and he is just trying to throw reporters off the scent?
It's certainly intriguing, what do you make of the comments?
image: © tpower1978