Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal are poised to secure their first signing of the January transfer window in the form of highly-rated young PAS Giannina defender Konstantinos Mavropanos.
Reports emanating from Greece earlier on Wednesday (3 January) suggested that the 20-year-old centre-back was in London to seal a low-money switch to the Emirates Stadium before likely joining Werder Bremen on loan for the rest of the 2017-18 campaign.
Mavropanos' agent was initially quoted as describing those links as "an invention", although the Evening Standard later confirmed that the interest was genuine and that a fee of approximately £2.2m ($2.9m) was expected to be agreed.
They also suggest that the Greek Under-21 international is due to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical and repeat the claim that he will be immediately dispatched to the Bundesliga rather than added to Arsene Wenger's first-team squad.
And speaking after his side's 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Wednesday night, Wenger confirmed a deal is in place. "Yes, but he's not ready to play. He will go out on loan," Wenger told a press conference.
Goal, meanwhile, claim that Arsenal moved ahead of Olympiacos in the race for Mavropanos' signature due to the presence of newly-appointed head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, whom is said to have links with that aforementioned agent from his time with Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Argiris Kampetsis at Borussia Dortmund.
They add that Mavropanos could be one of many top young talents to arrive at the Emirates Stadium this term, with the reputable Mislintat given such a remit after being hired as part of a behind-the-scenes overhaul that also saw former Barcelona director of football Raul Sanllehi come aboard as head of football relations.
Wenger, who was previously said to be coveting Papastathopoulos and AS Roma's Kostas Manolas in addition to sending scouts to watch Panagiotis Retsos before his move to Bayer Leverkusen, has promised a "busy" transfer window at Arsenal but has refused to divulge the identities of any specific targets.
Central defence is one area that certainly requires some long-term planning, with captain Per Mertesacker set to retire at the end of the season and take over as the club's academy manager.
Laurent Koscielny will continue to require daily treatment on a chronic achilles condition throughout the twilight of his career, Shkodran Mustafi has been linked with a return to Serie A and it remains to be seen if either Calum Chambers or Rob Holding will emerge as suitable long-term options.
Versatile left-back Nacho Monreal, now 32, has been used almost exclusively in that area since Wenger switched to a back three at the end of last season.