Arsenal may have re-signed Mathieu Flamini in the summer, but they were said to be in the running for plenty of other defensive midfielders throughout August and September.
Yohan Cabaye was linked with the club, after Arsenal made a bid for the player. Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender was also linked as well as Sevilla youngster Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Another option was reportedly Josuha Guilavogui of St Etienne.
The box-to-box dynamo was reportedly the subject of an £8.6 million enquiry from the North London club and the French international was keen on a move - especially after Les Verts were dumped out of the Europa League to Esbjerg of Denmark.
In the end however he joined Atletico Madrid in a five-year deal from St Etienne for €12 million on the same day that Los Colchoneros also signed up Belgian international Toby Alderweireld.
Much like the former Ajax man however it has been a struggle for the Frenchman since his arrival in the Spanish capital.
He has only made a handful of appearances for the club - in fact he has played just one minute of La Liga football since moving to the Vicente Calderon.
With France qualified for the World Cup next summer, and the 23-year-old hopeful of going, he has been linked with an almost immediate exit from the club he only signed for in September.
But today he addressed the rumours, stating:
“… Atletico Madrid? This is a new style of play, a new philosophy... Initially, I was tired of the transfer. I had a lot of stress. Physically I was not ready. I took some time to digest. I know I did not choose the easy but I do not regret my choice. I'm in one of the best teams in Europe. I know there is a lot of competition in my position. "
"I do not intend to force a winter transfer window. I must accumulate the most game time possible. I spoke with the coach (Diego Simeone). Now I know what he expects of me and what I have to do. "
So it seems Guilavogui is going nowhere soon if Arsenal had any lingering interest, but considering the difficulties the talented midfielder has had in adapting to Spanish football - perhaps Arsenal have dodged a bullet?
image: © azuaje