In bygone days, Manchester United and Arsenal used to engage in fierce battles for domestic dominance.
However, an influx of billionaire backers has broadened the field of Premier League competitors, diluting the ferocity of the feud between this elite pair.
In a nostalgic salute to seasons past though, the rumour mill has today pitted the two age-old foes against one another with a teenage French defender the prize both are intent on claiming.
Regarded as ‘one of the best prospects in France’ by The Mirror, Valenciennes stopper Dayot Upamecano is a top transfer priority for both the Gunners and Red Devils.
Retailing at around £1m, the 16-year-old was thought to be on his way to Old Trafford at the end of January, but for whatever reason the move was never completed, allowing Arsenal to enter the race.
Upamecano isn’t the only French youth Arsene Wenger is keen on according to the gossip peddler’s on shift this morning.
Lyon’s precocious conjurer Nabil Fekir could also be on his way to the Emirates, though the penny-pinching Frenchman will want a significant reduction on Les Gones’ £25m asking price.
The 21-year-old is savouring an impressive campaign to date, scoring eight and assisting six in 20 starts for the Ligue 1 pacesetters this term.
Naturally, these stellar showings have caught the eye of clubs in the money closer to home, with Paris Saint-Germain also believed to be interested in the young playmaker.
A final line concerning Arsenal revolves around their constantly discussed goalkeeping department.
Malaga’s Guillermo Ochoa is the latest name mooted to be joining the league of Gunners onion-bag custodians, though this doesn’t seem overly likely.
Colombian number one David Ospina in fine form and the inconsistent Wojciech Szczesny – for whom one off-field mishap was deemed far greater than several years of high-profile blunders in the eyes of his boss – is in reserve, their need for reinforcements isn’t pressing.
Liverpool are ready to test their negotiating resolve for the Mexican net-minder, who hasn’t played a La Liga game this term.