Try as they might (and boy, did they try) to make the Karim Benzema to Arsenal fantasy run until the end of the transfer window, the tabloids yesterday had their scheme quashed by the man himself.
Both the Gunners and Real Madrid had previously offered nothing to suggest the Frenchman may be Emirates-bound, but this did little to stem the constant flow of spuriousness indicating the deal was very much alive.
Where the two clubs failed, Benzema succeeded, choosing a tweet in which he refers to ‘clowns’ talking about his future and declares that the Bernabeu is his home as his nonsense-quelling weapon of choice.
The revelation prompted a red top summit, where it was quickly agreed that the wax must be split on the envelope housing ‘obligatory Arsenal striker rumour plan B’.
Its contents were duly unleashed, leading to lines of ‘Edinson Cavani to the Emirates’ pollute back pages and transfer gossip threads alike.
If signing Benzema was implausible, the chances of seeing the Uruguayan in an Arsenal shirt are even bleaker.
The Gunners have proved themselves capable of prying talent away from fellow elite outfits in recent seasons, but there’s no precedent of them signing a player their big gun brothers actually want.
Real Madrid demanded £42.5m for Mesut Ozil, but he had fallen behind Gareth Bale in the pecking order, Luis Suarez’s Barcelona arrival spelled the end of Alexis Sanchez’s Nou Camp career and Petr Cech had spent a season on the Chelsea bench before his move to the Emirates.
Cavani is very much a part of the Paris Saint-Germain furniture, making 96 appearances for the Parc des Princes outfit in just two seasons.
In this short time he has hit 56 goals across all competitions and a club with PSG’s fiscal firepower aren’t going to relinquish this kind of net-bulging prowess without receiving an outrageous sum of money.
They spent £46.8m in signing him from Napoli and would expect to turn a profit on this given his goal record.
But it’s not just financial obstacles that will prevent this deal from going through.
Unlike Benzema and current Arsenal line-leader Olivier Giroud, Cavani lacks the deft, technical acumen Arsene Wenger clearly values above all else in attacking players.
The Uruguayan gets by on his power and aggression, rendering him the ideal foil for the classy Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG, or Luis Suarez in the national team.
Arsenal’s obsession with around-the-box intricacies aren’t likely to bring the best out of a player who bears a closer resemblance to Christian Benteke than he does Benzema and this is why the transfer is never going to happen.