Arsenal were set to make a move for Napoli star Dries Mertens during the last transfer window and could yet resurrect their interest in the Belgian next summer.
According to Italian website Calciomercato, Arsene Wenger was interested in bringing the Belgian to the Emirates Stadium during the transfer window after being impressed with his performances for Napoli.
However, Mertens opted instead to extend his deal with the Partenopei by three years until the summer of 2020, but the buyout clause in his contract is set at just €30m (£26.5m), a particularly attractive figure in today's market for a player of his calibre.
The fee is unlikely to dissuade Wenger from approaching Napoli in the summer, as Arsenal are resigned to lose Alexis Sanchez for free at the end of the season, after the Chilean declined to sign a new deal.
However, while Mertens' versatility could make him a perfect replacement for the 28-year-old, the Belgium international is likely to attract interest from a number of clubs, while Napoli will be desperate to keep hold of him.
Since moving to the feet of Mount Vesuvius four years ago, Mertens has blossomed into one of Serie A's most feared forwards, scoring 56 goals in 137 league appearances for Napoli.
Following Gonzalo Higuain's departure last summer, Mertens thrived in a more advanced role for Napoli and scored 34 times in his 46 appearances in all competitions last season. The Belgian has carried his form into the current campaign, scoring six goals in five Serie A games, including a spectacular effort away against Lazio on Wednesday (20 September).
Napoli are the league's joint leaders ahead with Juventus, but have a better goal difference than last season's champions as their attack has been firing on all cylinders this season, scoring 19 league goals so far, more than any other club in Europe.
In June, Mertens was linked with a move to Chelsea and the Napoli forward confirmed the Premier League champions had been keen on bringing him to Stamford Bridge.
"Yes there was interest [from Chelsea], and from other clubs also, but in my head there was never an intention to change clubs," he told Sky Sports. "This season was really good. I am going to try and be even better next year."
Wenger will be able to get a closer look at Mertens when Napoli travel to Manchester to face Manchester City in the third round of Champions League fixtures next month. Maurizio Sarri's men lost 2-1 away to Shakhtar Donetsk in the opening game of the group and host Feyenoord on Tuesday evening (26 September).