Arsenal look to have once again been thwarted in their attempts to sign Julian Draxler after his current club Wolfsburg ruled out any chance of him leaving.
The Gunners have been on the trail of the 22-year-old since he began making waves at Schalke after coming through the Konigsblauen’s youth system.
Bild had suggested the north Londoners had ready to drop a club-record transfer fee in the region of £55m to land the German international.
But, rather than continue to pursue the by now eye-wateringly costly forward, might they be wiser in returning to the hothouse where he learned his trade?
The German national team has Schalke’s feted academy to thank for Manuel Neuer, Mesut Ozil and Bendikt Howedes and another golden generation of youth products seems to have arrived.
Most famous among the crop of players in their early twenties that held senior roles in the first team last term is the supposedly Manchester-City-bound Leroy Sane.
However, the winger is just one of four players whose senority in Marcus Weinzierl’s side belied their tender years as the Die Knappen finished fifth in the Budesliga, three places above Wolfsburg, three of which are academy products.
Sane and fellow 20-year-old wide forward Max both came through the age-group sides in Gelsenkirchen and both scored at least as many league goals as the Gunners’ target Draxler last term, as well as out-assisting their countryman.
Schalke have also been reaping the rewards of giving the oxygen of first choice status to two precocious midfielders last term.
Johannes Geis and Leon Goretzka formed an engine room partnership sufficiently formidable to marginalise Bayern Munich loanee and newly-signed Southampton man Pierre-Emil Hojbjerg.
It will only be so long before those besides the already sought-after Sane are hot property across Europe, so Arsenal might be best served getting over their Draxler disappointment by scouting the club that produced him in the first place.