As reports linking Sergio Ramos to Manchester United build in momentum on the road to Transfer Sagaville, the exponents of premium transfer gossip wish to have us nattering over Real Madrid’s ideas to replace the World Cup winner.
If the Spanish centre-back does bid the Bernabeu goodbye, Los Blancos will turn to Arsenal in their efforts to fill the cavernous void in the heart of their defence, hoping to sign Laurent Koscielny.
Despite this speculated interest, the French stopper is priced up at 5/2 to sign for Rafa Benitez’s men before the summer spending season is brought to a close in early September, next to the microscopically short 1/5 that he remains a Gunner.
If Real Madrid is the only alternative for the 29-year-old, the latter price is as good as free money for anyone inclined to make wagers when small profit margins are up for grabs.
The logic behind the Spanish capital club’s alleged interest is impossible to extract.
Firstly, it’s been a long time since turning to Arsenal to solve defensive quandaries was recognised as a sure-footed transfer strategy.
It’s widely accepted the Emirates is the one-stop shop for all your attacking midfield needs, they are not reputable vendors of rearguard marshals.
Then there’s the fact that Koscielny isn’t considered good enough to start ahead of Real’s Rafael Varane by France coach Didier Deschamps.
Granted, Varane is an exceptional defender, yet he was rarely deemed of sufficient stature to start ahead of either Ramos or Pepe when both were fit last season.
Koscielny, it would seem, is weaker than all three, meaning any potential move for him to replace Ramos would ensure their backline begins next season weaker than it finished the previous campaign.
The Frenchman’s occasionally haphazard approach is one that wouldn’t endear him to disciplinarian Benitez either, a long-standing subscriber in the theory that success is founded upon an impenetrable rearguard.
Furthermore, his age undermines any sell-on potential, while the master negotiators at Arsenal would be sure to squeeze north of £20m out of Real before they parted with their best defensive asset.
These factors decorate the Koscielny to Real Madrid rumour in all the hallmarks of speculation that will never be realised.