Arsenal have been linked with a number of established defensive-minded midfielders in the current transfer window - Sami Khedira, Javi Martinez and even Luiz Gustavo - but are yet to enter the market in order to make official their interest.
The one player perpetually-linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, a player who was reportedly just "hours away" from agreeing a deal three weeks ago, is Real Madrid athlete Sami Khedira, though his £150,000 per week wage demands - recently reduced to £135,000 - seemingly made Arsene Wenger baulk.
Especially when there is potentially a far cheaper alternative on the market.
Khedira could cost Arsenal £24 million in terms of a transfer fee but, with £135,000 per week on a four year basis, that amounts to a total outlay of £52,080,000 with little resale value.
Sporting Lisbon wonderkid William Carvalho, a coveted 22-year-old with great potential, would also command a similar transfer fee but is reportedly receiving a modest weekly wage of £8,000.
If the Portuguese club and Arsenal agreed to the current fee, even if Wenger ratified a salary package that saw Carvalho's wages increase to £50,000 per week, he would still save Arsenal - transfer fee included - £17,680,000 over the space of four years as his combined costs are £34,400,000.
For a near £18 million saving should Wenger veer toward Carvalho rather than Khedira, Arsenal could perhaps afford a transfer fee for another player.
Considering Carvalho compares favourably to Khedira according to this recent statistical analogy, it may go a long way in explaining why the Gunners are taking so long to conclude their transfer business.