Arsenal and Karim Benzema have been joined by the transfer news hip for quite a few years, and there seem to be no signs of separation anytime soon.
Benzema to Arsenal – will it happen, won't it happen, is it even remotely in the offing – has been one of the summer transfer stories – as it seems to be pretty much every summer – and there are no signs of the rumours and reports deciding to take a break.
Certain reports suggested last week, and the week before that and the one before as well, that Arsenal had made a bid for Benzema, with Real Madrid reportedly open to selling the France international striker.
However, nothing much has come out of those reports, but according to Bein Sports correspondent Tancredi Palmeri, there might have been some substance in those rumours after all.
"It's all true the Arsenal bid for Benzema: €45m (£31.3m). Real Madrid was initially open to talk, but now they have stopped everything," Palmeri wrote on his Twitter account.
When Arsene Wenger was asked about interest for Benzema, the Arsenal manager was not his usual closed self, completely shutting down the question and giving an answer even a politician would have been proud of.
Instead, the Arsenal manager seemed to suggest that the transfer is not quite in the offing right now, which, of course, led to suggestions it might happen later in the transfer window.
"I don't know where that story comes from but that's not happening at the moment," was what Wenger said last week when asked about a possible move for Benzema.
The Arsenal manager went on to say he is ready to make a move if the right player becomes available.
"We do not guarantee that we can sign someone and I'm happy with the squad that I have," Wenger added. "If I find a player with an exceptional potential who can strengthen the squad then I will do it. It depends who is on the market.
"It's not easy at the moment because many clubs are out there to buy, and the number of players who can strengthen the big teams in Europe is very restricted."
Wenger only signed a new goalkeeper in Petr Cech, because a player of his ilk actually became available.
It looks like being the case for other positions as well this summer. Arsenal have enough cover in most departments of the pitch, with slight question marks hovering over the defensive midfield and central striker positions.
If Mathieu Flamini leaves – reports suggest the midfielder has agreed a deal with Galatasaray – then Wenger is likely to make a move for another defensive midfielder, because counting on just Mikel Arteta as cover for Francis Coquelin is risky.
For the striker role, there is little doubt that Arsenal will go up a notch if Wenger is able to pull off a deal for a world-class forward.
Benzema, for all his critics, certainly falls in that category, and it does look like any deal, if it is to happen, will come through only towards the end of the transfer window.
Rafa Benitez has been tipped to switch Cristiano Ronaldo to the central striker position, and if that does turn out to be the case – preseason games will be a good pointer towards that – there is a good chance of Benzema wanting to leave. If Wenger will want to sign, with another France international in Olivier Giroud on the books, though, remains to be seen, as the Arsenal manager has said in the past he does not want two strikers competing for a place in the national team squad, also doing the same at club level.
All ifs and buts, though, at the moment, with speculation the only form of life for these stories until a deal actually happens or the transfer window closes on 1 September.