Kim Kallstrom, the only player Arsenal brought in during the January transfer window, could be on his way back to parent club Spartak Moscow before he ever plays a game for the Gunners, according to a report by Charlie Wyett in the Sun on Sunday (subscription required).
The paper claims the injury he is carrying means he cannot provide cover for the Gunners midfield, and that work has begun to call off the deal.
If the report proves true, the deal would cause ridicule, particularly since it has emerged that Arsenal were aware he was carrying an injury before they confirmed the switch, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
The Sun's story is behind their paywall, but some of the key details are summarised by Off The Post's Rob Parker:
The Sun on Sunday reports that they want to cancel the loan agreement now that the full extent of the 31-year-old’s injury has become clear.
The form Lyon star was drafted in to provide emergency cover for the injured Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, as well as the suspended Mathieu Flamini, during a busy run of fixtures for Arsene Wenger’s side.
But it now seems that at least two of those players—and possibly all three—will be available for action before Kallstrom.
The move has upset some Gunners fans, who were hoping for a more high-profile arrival or arrivals—particularly with the side firmly in contention for the title.
But a move for Schalke's Julian Draxler never got off the ground, and the striking ranks were not strengthened. That left the Gunners reliant on Olivier Giroud over the next few months, during which they have a relentless string of fixtures over three competitions against Europe's great and good.