Arsene Wenger will hope Cesc Fabregas' integral role at the heartbeat of the Arsenal side is enough to persuade the midfielder to remain at Emirates Stadium for at least another season.
The Spain international, 23, has told Wenger he wants to move back to boyhood club Barcelona, in the belief all of his ambitions can be fulfilled at the Nou Camp rather than in north London.
While welcoming the news their prodigal son, who left for Highbury when aged 16 in 2003, would like to return, Barcelona accept the Gunners must have the final say on whether any potential deal can be brokered.
Arsenal, of course, have no intentions of letting their star man leave, with Fabregas contracted until 2014 and one of the highest paid players at the club.
Wenger is set for more talks with the midfielder, who was briefly back in London yesterday as part of his rehabilitation from a cracked fibula ahead of the World Cup.
Key to Arsenal's hopes of convincing Fabregas to stay on for at least one more campaign - much as former captain Thierry Henry did before eventually joining Barcelona in June 2007 - look set to be two fold.
Wenger is keen to bolster his squad over the summer, with the arrival of Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh set to shortly be confirmed ahead of further additions expected before the start of the new campaign which will give the Gunners the extra depth and experience needed to last the distance.
Moreover, though, is the case for Fabregas' integral role at the heartbeat of the Arsenal team - something which would not be guaranteed at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola deploys a 4-3-3 formation, and as such the midfielder would be competing with the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets for a regular place in the starting XI.
While no doubt championing the English top flight being much more competitive than in Spain as part of his persuasion, Wenger will also be acutely aware holding onto a player whose heart lies elsewhere serves no long-term gain.
Were Arsenal to regretfully allow Fabregas to leave, then the Gunners would expect a fee in the region of £40million - although with just one club in the market, Barcelona equally could not be held to ransom.
Reports have suggested both Yaya Toure and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be offered as makeweights in any deal.
Wenger, though, will already have plenty of other options in mind as he looks to fill a void at the heart of the side.
Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour feels should Fabregas go, it could actually turn out to be a "blessing in disguise".
Parlour, whose 25-yard strike helped win the 2002 FA Cup final against Chelsea, said on Sky Sports News: "It would be a massive loss, but one player does not run the club.
"Ronaldo was one of the biggest players for Manchester United, they sold him and then one of the other players has to step up, as Wayne Rooney did last season.
"Arsenal would have to use the money well. If £40m came into the club, it could be a blessing in disguise because Arsene Wenger would be able to use that to bring in three or four quality players and it would make the squad better."
Mikel Arteta's agent maintains the midfielder is happy at Everton, but has long been on Wenger's radar, as has Brazil playmaker Felipe Melo.
The 26-year-old has not enjoyed the best of campaigns at Juventus after signing from Fiorentina, and could be looking for a new start.
"Juventus' season was negative and didn't go as well as expected, but my performances were good," Melo told www.tuttojuve.com.
"I have heard about the interest of Arsenal, once again, but there is nothing concrete.
"The only certainty is that I still have a four-year contract with Juventus."
Veteran Sol Campbell will be hoping to soon tie up his contract extension, but William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre seem set to leave as free agents.
Youngster Fran Merida, however, could see Fabregas' likely exit as a opening for him to stay on and cement a place in the first team rather than head back to Spain with Atletico Madrid.Reuse content