According to a decisive consensus of this country's elite sporting daily periodicals it looks like Thierry Henry, 43, will not after all be coming back to Arsenal to play like a much slower version of Thierry Henry, perhaps scoring a single spectacular muscle-memory goal in a 4-0 thrashing of some dispirited relegation favourite.
Admittedly they may have had some help from Arsène Wenger, who said as much on Tuesday. "He is not ready and he has just come back from holiday anyway," Wenger mused, rifling through a selection of postcards.
Alan Pardew is currently standing outside Peter Odemwingie's balcony apartment watching the rain slowly wilt the petrol station flowers clutched in his right hand, hair plastered across his forehead, singing a selection of popular 1980s power-ballads in a quivering a cappella tenor. The 31-year-old Odemwingie is "lined up" as Demba Ba's replacement. Odemwingie will cost £3m. He has been trying to leave West Brom for six months. Nobody seems to know why.
Also in the Sun, Chelsea and Arsenal may well pass on trequartista-in-exile Wesley Sneijder, who is available free to those who can afford him, very expensive to those who can't. Sneijder cost £24m from Real Madrid three years ago and is currently being paid £200,000 a week. Rather than take a pay cut it appears he would still rather just not play football at all. So. No football at all it is then.
In the Daily Mail, Arsenal are still mooning over Atlético Madrid striker Adrián López. Arsenal have "opened formal talks" with Atlético officials, which are like normal talks only in black or white tie and with men holding trays of canapes hovering sniffily in the corner of the room. López will cost £15m. Wenger is also keen on ageing goal-genius David Villa.
Newcastle have let it be known they will swoop for West Ham striker Modibo Maïga if they fail to land the potentially made-up Loïc Rémy from Marseille. At which point the Mill would like to ask if anyone has ever actually seen Loïc Rémy? Not just his name, whispered with hoarse and insinuating excitement in some rumour-based context, but the actual, flesh and blood Loïc Rémy (no doubt coincidental, but the words "Loïc Rémy" translate directly from the French as "work of fiction")? West Ham, meanwhile, are after Nicolas Anelka, Gaël Givet of Blackburn, and Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock. And Sunderland will make a play for Anderlecht's Hungary defender Roland Juhasz, having been rebuffed in outline by Joleon Lescott and Sylvain Distin, who don't want to move to the north-east.
In the Mirror, West Ham have been shooed away by Southampton after making a play for Rickie Lambert, this despite the fact one-goal hitman Andy Carroll is due to return to action this month. Daniel Sturridge, who never seems very happy, is all set to join Liverpool for £12m – this despite the fact one-goal hitman Andy Carroll is due to return to action this month. And ultimately disappointing ex-England utility defender Wes Brown still hasn't sold his house. Brown's Cheshire mansion, which only has five bedrooms, as opposed to, say, 27, went on the market last year for £4.25m. It's now available for £1m less. Form an orderly queue. Brown's overblown atrocity of excessive disposable income comes equipped with a cinema room, spiral staircase, leisure complex and music studio. He's decided to move to "a rambling farmhouse" instead.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © wonker