For the past few seasons, many players moved to the Emirates and many have moved out of it. But one story that has continued through all these years is the Cesc Fabregas saga.
Last year, after World Cup 2010, Barcelona were interested in getting Fabregas and made an official offer, but Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board rejected the bid, saying that they were not selling their captain.
Fabregas also put an end to the speculation last season through a statement on the team's website:
I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100 percent focused on playing for Arsenal ... I am an Arsenal player and as soon as I step out on to the pitch, that is the only club I will be thinking about ... I am looking forward to the start of the season and putting this speculation behind me.
This season, the Champions League winners and La Liga title holders started the speculation again by making a bid for the Arsenal captain.
The Arsenal board, unable to stop Barcelona this time, had put a price tag of £40 million for Fabregas.
Should Wenger play Fabregas in the Champions League qualifier?
While the Gunners need not sell their captain, they are open to offers from Barcelona, respecting Fabregas's emotions and commitment to the club.
So, with Arsenal on the upper hand, there is no need to worry for the Gunners. Last season, Fabregas did not feature in many games, and the Gunners were used to life without him. Hence, his move to Barcelona would not affect Arsenal as the fans are used to the idea of Fabregas leaving the club.
Also, Fabregas has been silent so far in the transfer window, that it has lead to increased speculation!
The main problem now lies for Barcelona!
The 2011-12 season will be starting in another 10 days, and Arsenal have their Champions League qualifier on August 16/17 and August 23/24. The team the Gunners are drawn to play will be determined on Friday, the 5th of August.
Arsenal will surely be aiming to win the qualifier, as it would provide them with revenues through the sale of tickets, television rights, etc.
But Wenger will not be able to play his full squad in the qualifier as Van Persie and Nasri have been suspended for the first leg of the playoffs. Fabregas missed out the preseason due to an injury but is expected to get fit soon.
This will make Wenger play Fabregas in the squad as the Gunners will be looking for some experience and depth.
If Wenger makes Fabregas play for Arsenal in the Champions League this year, then Fabregas cannot represent any other team (even if it is the mighty Barcelona) this season in the European tournament, according to the dailymail.co.uk.
This will put the Barcelona's interest in doubt as they may not be willing to buy Fabregas and let him not play in the Champions League.
So, if there is any transfer activity related to Fabregas, one can hope that it will end before the first leg of the Champions League qualifier (unless Fabregas sits out again due to injury).
Hence, if Barcelona are really intent on getting Fabregas, they cannot be waiting till the deadline day (August 31st)! If that is the case, then they may have to wait for another season.
Again, I would emphasize that Arsene Wenger holds all the cards!