Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger appears to have dealt a huge blow to Chelsea's hopes of securing his signature - by declaring that he is an Arsenal fan according to Metro.
Precocious centre-back Rudiger is considered among the best centre-backs in European football at present; despite being only 20 years old he has established himself as a key player for current club Stuttgart and has already courted attention from big clubs across the continent.
Chelsea were among the favourites to land the Germany international in their seemingly never-ending pursuit of a long-term successor to John Terry, with a £7 million swoop in January or the summer mooted.
However, it appears that Rudiger would not be interested in a move to Stamford Bridge, instead preferring to sign for Chelsea's London rivals, Arsenal.
He told German newspaper Bild, "I have been following Arsenal since the days of Henry and Bergkamp. I watch videos of Arsenal all the time on YouTube and I often wear the current Alexis Sanchez shirt."
As if to end any slight chance of a move to Jose Mourinho's side, and perhaps drop a not so subtle hint to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger - whose sides defensive deficiencies have long been evident, particularly highlighted by left-back Natcho Monreal's outings in the heart of their defence - he added, "My heart beats for Arsenal."
Make a move
Surely Chelsea can't make a move for him now; with Gary Cahill and John Terry established as the club's first choice pairing and the promising Kurt Zouma on the bench, it is unlikely Mourinho will lose too much sleep over missing out on Rudiger.
At £7million, he is certainly within Arsenal's price bracket, and would surely be worth a punt by Wenger. Could he be the answer to Arsenal's defensive woes?