Any faint hope Arsenal had of securing the signature of Luis Suarez before the transfer deadline next month may now be all but extinguished, after it was claimed the Liverpool striker is intent on a move to Real Madrid.
According to the Evening Standard, Suarez is ready to seek legal clarification from the Premier League regarding his contractual stipulations with Liverpool, in the hope of reviving interest from Real Madrid.
Arsenal's pursuit of Suarez has opened a can of worms at Anfield, with both the Gunners and the player believing a bid in excess of £40 million would be enough to activate a release clause in his Liverpool contract.
The north London club made an offer of £40,000,001 for Suarez - which was rejected by Liverpool - who maintain they are only required to inform the player of a bid that size, rather than allow him to talk to interested parties.
However, Suarez and his representatives reportedly harbour the belief that the Premier League could rule in favour of the 26-year-old and effectively set his transfer fee at the price of £40 million and one pound.
The Suarez camp hope this potential carrot would reignite Real Madrid's pursuit of the Uruguay international, who favours a move to the Santiago Bernabeu over the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal would surely follow up their interest in Suarez where a release clause set following the player's legal challenge, although Liverpool would reportedly not entertain the idea of selling him to a Premier League rival.
The Gunners, however, are reported to remain confident Madrid will be unable to finance a deal for both Suarez and top target Gareth Bale, and expect to be the frontrunners to sign the former.