Arsenal decided to sell their club captain earlier this month, allowing him a switch to Barcelona after becoming disillusioned at a lack of first-team football at the club. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker had established themselves as the undoubted number one pairing - which left the Belgian watching from the side on most occasions.
with all that taken into account Arsene Wenger admitted the club may have to approach other central defensive options over a potential Emirates switch. One such player was Greek international Kostas Manolas.
The talented Olympiakos star was available for a fee in the region of £10.4 million but Arsenal did not get the man, as he replaced Bayern Munich bound Mehdi Benatia at AS Roma yesterday. So what happened to Arsenal's concrete interest?
It was reported in the press on several occasions that a deal was done - pending a successful medical. However that clearly was not the case, although it has now been claimed he decided against Arsenal as he did not want to play third wheel to the German-French duet.
Manolas was unveiled to the press in the Italian capital this afternoon, and he commented on the other teams linked with his signature among other things:
"I had offers from several clubs, including Juventus also. Arriving at Rome, however, was my choice. I have always aimed to get here thanks to the advice of [Vasillis] Torosidis and [Traionas] Dellas. Benatia is a great player. Many times I've seen Rome because there was Torosidis. All I can say is that he is the past, but I am here now. Roma was the best choice for me. Now I want to conquer the starting place with the work, no one has promised me anything."
He does not mention Arsenal by name and goes on to speak about his battle for first-team football at Roma - so clearly the test at Arsenal could not have bothered him too much.
But his decision to refuse Juventus would suggest Roma, and their Greek heritage, always had the upper hand in the pursuit of his signature.
Once they got involved it would appear Arsenal, and anyone else, didn't stand a chance.