Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has blocked a move for Juventus midfielder and Southampton target Mario Lemina.
The Gunners who have so far added left-back Sead Kolasinac and striker Alexandre Lacazette to their squad could have signed Lemina from Juventus this summer but Wenger decided against the move in a bid to prove he remains in control of the Gunners' transfer policy after rejecting recommendations from within the club, according to the London Evening Standard
By Wenger's standards, any further arrivals are set to depend on outgoings first, with Arsenal's squad in need of trimming.
The Gunners place great importance in a performance comparison matrix system to help plan their transfer strategy ever since introducing it in 2012 and this analytical data threw up Lemina as a player to help strengthen the first-team squad.
At the back end of last season, though, Arsenal scouts and principal transfer negotiator Dick Law apparently identified Lemina as a player to target. But Wenger instead chose to prioritise other areas, completing a club record £52.7m deal for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette in addition to Sead Kolasinac's arrival on a free transfer while continuing to pursue a move for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar.
The 23-year-old has been linked with a host of Premier League sides during the window, including West Ham, Stoke and Watford. But Southampton appear to have now won the race with Lemina passing a medical ahead of an £18million switch.