Morgan Schneiderlin could be an Arsenal player by the start of next season, after the Southampton midfielder revealed his "decision is made" over his future.
Schneiderlin has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal over the past few months, with "The Secret Footballer" even claiming a deal was in place to sign him in the summer.
Arsene Wenger might have hinted at a change of plans following the good form of Francis Coquelin, but the manager also later admitted he would look to strengthen the midfield position in the summer, as long as the right player was available.
Schneiderlin is not your typical defensive midfielder, even if he can play that role, but the France international will add a bit more defensive/interceptions/ball-winning quality to the Arsenal side, without hurting the team's technical base.
Chances of a move to Arsenal increased when Schneiderlin admitted he was looking to move to a Champions League club in this transfer window, which then rules out the likes of Tottenham, who came close to signing the 25-year-old last summer.
"I think my decision is made," Schneiderlin told RMC. "I learned a lot last season. The goal is to stay in England. It is a league that I like and where I have a lot of fun. If I leave Southampton, it is for a club that plays better than the Europa League.
"There are ongoing discussions but nothing is done. But of course the Champions League is my goal. If I leave Southampton it will be for a club in the Champions League."
Schneiderlin missed the last few matches of the season for Southampton with a knee problem, and when asked about the injury, the manner in which the midfielder replied, especially with the "I wanted to wear this jersey again" suggested his career with the Saints might be at an end.
"My injury is getting better," Schneiderlin added. "I still have the left knee ligament that suffers a bit, but I can run. I'll take the holidays to recover.
"I wanted to wear this jersey again, it's an honour. So it is annoying. But then I will be able to recover and have a good season next year."
Southampton are holing out for a fee of around £25 million for Schneiderlin. Even if Arsenal are well stocked in the midfield department, it is a little to attack-minded, and Wenger will know the need to bring in a better rounded midfielder, someone who can get stuck in and keep the ball moving forward, especially with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini coming towards the end of their careers.