Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press
There were several transfer rumours to mull over this week, with the most significant appearing Thursday morning.
Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph claimed that Arsenal were preparing a summer move for Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez.
According to the article, the Gunners have approached the Bundesliga champions over the availability of the Spain international.
Not so long ago, the thought of the 25-year-old leaving the Allianz Arena would have been unimaginable, but things have changed under Pep Guardiola this season.
Martinez has found himself operating as a makeshift central defender during the campaign and, according to Wilson, seems a little underwhelmed at the role.
The Telegraph report quotes the player as saying:
I don’t have as much freedom on the field anymore. I don’t get forward as often and my game is a little more static. The coach believes that I can play in any of the central positions and I’ll play where I’m needed.
But it is arguable that Arsenal's need is greater than Guardiola's. The Gunners saw their early-season promise dissipate after the turn of the year, with their challenges for the Champions League and Premier League both found wanting.
While Mesut Ozil has started displaying the attributes we knew he had during the closing stages of the season, Arsenal have missed a commanding presence in midfield.
Arsene Wenger will recognise that a holding midfielder is desperately required for his team to advance on the upturn in fortunes this season. Martinez fits the bill.
Mikel Arteta has played the role this season, but at 32, time is against him, and his displays have lacked the consistency of previous campaigns.
At 25, Martinez represents a player approaching his peak, and Whoscored.com rank him as having "no significant weaknesses" and note his strength in aerial duels.
The choice seems obvious, but much will depend on the transfer fee.
Believability meter: Medium
The move for Martinez would be a major statement of intent by Arsenal and Wenger for next season.
The former Athletic Bilbao man is an ideal addition to the squad, but much will depend on Guardiola's plans, with the Bayern boss also facing a question mark over his future, as Ashley Clements of the Daily Mail reported earlier this month.
The transfer fee for a 25-year-old is unlikely to be in the bargain category, but it is arguable that breaking the club record set by Ozil's move a year ago would represent decent value for the Gunners.