It was meant to be different this time, so very, very different. There were bundles of cash to spend and, oh boy, was it going to be spent. Higuaín, Fellaini, Suárez, heck, the moon on a stick – Arsenal were going to buy them all.
But wait, what's this I hear? Why, it's the sound of the past catching up with the present. Yes folks, that's right, we're walking right back to deja vu district. You know, the place where Arsenal talk big and do small, and by small I mean sign Frenchmen nobody has heard of. Yet to bring in any of their mooted big-name targets, Arsène Wenger's side are now being linked with a move for Geoffrey Kondogbia, a 20-year-old FRENCH midfielder who currently plays for Sevilla. Wenger is confident that a fee can be agreed with the Spanish club for the player and he can arrive in London as Arsenal's second signing of the summer, after Yaya Sanogo, a FRENCH striker who arrived from Auxerre at the start of the month. Blimey, it really does feel like we've been here before doesn't it?
In fairness to Arsenal, there is also talk in Friday's papers that the club are planning to increase their offer to Liverpool for Luis Suárez, from £30m to £40m. But you would have to be Ian Wright riding Gunnersaurus through Upper Street to believe that deal will actually happen.
Staying in London, and yet more talk of Chelsea's desire to sign Wayne Rooney. According to a certain Big Brother-obsessed redtop, the striker remains keen on leaving Manchester United this summer and could be tempted by a move to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea confident a £25m bid will be enough to seal the deal. With Rooney having returned home from United's tour of the far east after just one day due to a hamstring injury, talks could start right away. Has Rooney played his last game for the champions? Who knows and, at this stage, frankly, who cares?
Should Chelsea fail to sign Rooney their supporters may be able to comfort themselves with the arrival of the highly rated Sporting Lisbon winger Bruma – that is if he can stay out of danger long enough to swap clubs, having recently been the subject of a stranger-than-strange kidnap plot.
Speaking of people forced to go somewhere against their will, Sebastián Coates could be on the verge of signing for Fulham. The west London club are said to be interested in the Uruguayan defender, who is seemingly no longer wanted by Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool and would be allowed to leave Anfield for around £5m.
Elsewhere, Manchester City are now the frontrunners to sign Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina. The Montenegro striker has been linked with a host of clubs (including Arsenal) for some time but with his representatives having spoken to City executives on Thursday, he looks set to move to the Etihad, probably for around £30m.
Back to Chelsea and they could be prepared to sell Demba Ba to Aston Villa, who may well need a striker following Christian Benteke's decision to hand in a transfer request, while former Villa striker Peter Crouch has been linked with a move to Queens Park Rangers – a transfer that would see him play under Harry Redknapp for a mind-boggling fifth time. Crouch could line up alongside Gary Hooper next season, with the Celtic striker also said to be wanted by 'Arry at QPR.
And finally, Reading are planning to make a £2.5m for Burnley striker Charlie Austin following the breakdown of his move to Hull, while Sunderland hope to sign Tom Huddlestone from Tottenham. Stoke, meanwhile, plan on making a bid for the former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper.
Oh, almost forgot – Real Madrid want Gareth Bale. Now what was that I was saying about deja vu ...