Arsene Wenger has given Arsenal fans hope he could yet have a surprise in store by claiming the club remain active in the January transfer window.
Speaking to the club's official website, Wenger said:
Are we active? Yes. Are we close to sign anybody? No.
There's not long now that's true. First, the situation was going like always in a transfer market - week by week. In the last two weeks it goes day by day, now it goes hour by hour.
In any hour anything can happen or change but at the moment, unfortunately, we are not signing anybody.
The Gunners have been linked with a move for a striker during the transfer window, although nothing has materialised and it looked like Wenger was prepared to work with what the club already have.
However, with the clock ticking towards Friday evening's 11 p.m. deadline, Wenger has hinted he may be attempting to salvage a last-ditch deal.
David Hytner reports in the Guardian Arsenal have sent Dick Law, their chief transfer negotiator, to Germany in an effort to clinch a deal for Schalke's Julian Draxler:
The London club are more likely to get the attacking midfielder in the summer but Law's attendance for talks with Schalke reflects the desire to do business before the winter window closes on Friday night.
Draxler's contract contains a £37m buy-out clause and Arsenal are not happy to pay that, believing it is too high for a 20-year-old who is not yet the finished article. But there is the feeling at Arsenal that there could be room for manoeuvre with Schalke.
Meanwhile, per Antony Kastrinakis and Mark Irwin in the Sun (subscription only), Arsenal could tie up moves for Draxler and Juventus forward Mirko Vucinic this month:
Arsenal were last night on the verge of a stunning double swoop for Juventus hitman Mirko Vucinic and Schalke winger Julian Draxler.
The Gunners were locked in talks with Juve to seal a loan deal until the end of the season for Montenegro ace Vucinic, 30.
That would leave the Gunners extremely well-stocked in the attacking department, possibly overstocked, unless they were to move a fringe player out.
Schalke, though, have told ESPN FC their position remains unchanged on Draxler, and they appear unwilling to negotiate:
Schalke tell ESPN FC their position "remains unchanged" amid reports that Arsenal have agreed deal for Julian Draxler.http://t.co/hYD15ozJLL— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 30, 2014
Having lost their position at the top of the Premier League to Manchester City this week it could be that Wenger has been shaken out of his complacent mood regarding signings and realised that to challenge City you require as much depth as them.
Manuel Pellegrini has two top players for every position, meaning he is able to rotate his squad across all competitions without losing any potency, whereas Arsenal for the most part have relied heavily upon Olivier Giroud in attack.
Per Soccerbase, the France international has already made 36 appearances this season for club and country, and it would spell disaster for Arsenal if they were to lose him to long-term injury in the same way they have lost Theo Walcott.
It may be late but any decision by Wenger to reinforce his attack will prove worthwhile in the coming months.