It appears a matter of when and not if Arsenal will buy anyone in the January transfer window with Arsene Wenger believed to be closing in on the kind of deal he loves.
Anyone claiming to know who Mohamed Elneny was before he was linked with Arsenal is either a Swiss football fan or a liar. The Egyptian international has no reputation in the English game, but appears to be closing in on a move to the best club – note the Premier League table – within it.
Some reports have had us believe that Elneny, 23, could be in the squad to face Sunderland on Saturday as Arsenal get their FA Cup defence underway at the Emirates and, as today's news confirmed, that could well be the case.
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FC Basel revealed that Elneny did not take part in training today and did not shy away from the reason. They admitted that a transfer could be on the cards in the coming days, although they stopped short of naming his destination.
An article on their official website stated: "Also absent was Mohamed Elneny, in which there could be a transfer in the coming days."
With no other club currently linked with the midfielder, it can only be the Gunners they are referring to.
The Evening Standard's journalist James Olley claims a deal is well within reach for Arsenal, but medical checks still need to be done and a work permit granted.
Arsenal will pay FC Basel £7million to sign Elneny, who will act as immediate cover for the injured Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla. However, despite Arsenal's need for reinforcements now, Elneny is not seen as a short-term fix and Wenger has a long-term plan for his development.
The expectation is that Elneny will provide an upgrade to Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta, both of whom are widely tipped to be on their way out of the club at the end of the season.