The future of Robert Lewandowski looks set to become the major saga of the 2014 January transfer window, with the Polish striker's exit from Borussia Dortmund due.
His contract expires in June, and word is that Dortmund are coming around to the idea of selling him in January to get cash for him rather than losing the prolific front man on a free transfer.
That possibility has clubs across Europe on red alert, including Spanish champions Barcelona.
Barcelona have been looking for a 'number 9' to add variety to their attack of Messi, Neymar and Sanchez, who are all skilful but very different type of players to Lewandowski.
Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, which holds a distinct bias towards Barcelona, have penned an article assessing their chances of signing the Dortmund striker in January, describing the Germans perhaps optimistically as 'desperately' trying to sell.
"The club is aware that Robert Lewandowski would be the best possible option to give the Tata Martino the 'nine' he craves."
Journalist Francesc Aguilar writes that they face tough competition from Real Madrid, who tried to sign him in the summer and have an ongoing loan deal with Dortmund for Nuri Sahin and could try to negotiate a switch around that.
The perceived wisdom that he was heading to Bayern Munich has been dimmed somewhat lately, with Pep Guardiola said to be less enthusiastic about bringing him aboard than previously thought, and in any case in January Dortmund have stated they will not sell to their rivals for any amount. By selling him abroad they have the chance to control the fact he will not be joining Bayern and come back to bite them in the Bundesliga.
The report cites interest from Premier League clubs, noting Manchester United and Chelsea made enquiries over the summer. However with Wayne Rooney staying at United and Chelsea signing Samuel Eto'o, the chances of them going for Lewandowski are now decreased.
Instead the Barcelona-swayed newspaper feel their biggest threat from England comes from Arsenal.
"Arsenal have a box of many millions to compensate Borussia and give a high signing bonus to Lewandowski, almost a fortune."
The Gunners' new found financial muscle, demonstrated by signing Mesut Ozil, has clearly raised their profile abroad and made them a club to be feared.
Arsenal are in need of a new striker to compliment Olivier Giroud, and found out just how dangerous Lewandowski is first hand when he fired a Champions League winner past them at the Emirates a fortnight ago, and faces them again next week.
Such a move for Lewandowski would change the landscape of European football, and the Premier League and transform their title chances.
Whether the Gunners end up signing him or not, what is clear is that the traditional giants of European football are scared, not just of each other, but about the new financial super-power on the block in North London.
Are you pleased Arsenal have the fear factor? Could they do a deal for Lewandowski?
image: © Roger Gorączniak