Transfer rumours at this time of year, months before the window opens - are always hard to believe.
A lot can change in terms of club form, player form, desire, finishing position, and finances which mean even the most likely of deals in March, can be off the table by June.
Take last year for instance, in April reports would have you believe that Stevan Jovetic was practically an Arsenal player - but whatever interest there allegedly was from the Gunners was dropped by time July came and the transfer window officially opened, and he landed up at Manchester City instead.
So claims from Guillem Balague last week that Alvaro Morata will tell Real Madrid he wants a move to Arsenal, should certainly be taken with a pinch of salt.
Morata has agreed to join Arsenal IF, I repeat IF, I insist IF, clubs agree fee. He will push for Madrid to accept Arsenal's offer— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) February 25, 2014
Balague followed up his claim via Twitter with a report written for Spanish newspaper AS stating that the Gunners are confident a deal can be done with Real Madrid now they have Morata's 'yes.'
What has transpired since all of that regarding Morata has flown largely under the radar but perhaps lends credence to the claims.
Since Balague broke the news back on Tuesday night, Morata has been completely frozen out of the Real Madrid picture.
While he was only a bit-part player beforehand, playing 28 minutes in total in the month of February, he was at least named on the bench in every game barring one against Getafe.
In the following games away at Schalke and away at Atletico Madrid, Morata has not even been named as a substitute, having to watch on from the stands.
With Madrid light in terms of back-up to Karim Benzema, his omission lends credence to reports that Morata has told the hierarchy at the club he will be pushing for a move.
Carlo Ancelotti said in January he wanted to keep him, but has found very little use for him - and the Spain under-21 star has just one La Liga start - but does have 12 appearances off the bench and has been at least a named substitute in every game in the league this season except for three - two coming in the last month.
For his playing fortunes taking a dip, along with the transfer rumours, could be a coincidence - but the other side of the coin is that it makes the talk of a summer switch to Arsenal all the more genuine.
image: © carlos rm