Inter Milan are unlikely to make their approach for rumoured target Mesut Ozil any sooner than the end of the season after seeming to accept that the Arsenal play-maker probably won't be on the move in the January transfer window.
Ozil is due to be out of contract on 30th June and looks no closer to agreeing an extension.
That could tempt Arsenal to sell him in January to ensure they recoup at least some of their £42.5m outlay. But for the money suitors would be willing to offer with only six months to go, the Gunners may be willing to risk it by keeping him until the end of the season.
"We are studying our squad. We have scouts everywhere and they look at every kind of player," Inter chairman Erick Thohir told Premium Sport.
"I don't think players like [Ozil] will be leaving in January. Luciano Spalletti knows this team has room for improvement, that's what we are working on."
Inter director Piero Ausilio said similar on the subject of Ozil at the weekend.
"We are thoroughly evaluating our players and watching foreign leagues at the same time - we are in place. But, anyhow, we do not think operations for players like Ozil are possible before June," he commented.
News of Inter's apparent interest in Ozil surfaced last week when Thohir commented on the possibility of pursuing the former Real Madrid star. Even then, though, the chairman warned against anything being expected after being burned in the January market before.
As things stand, Ozil is eligible to open formal talks with non-English clubs from 1st January and could sign a pre-contract agreement to secure a free transfer in the summer should he wish.
To avoid that, ex-Premier League manager Stuart Pearce believes Arsenal should definitely sell in January when the transfer market re-opens. "Part of me thinks if they get good money for Ozil, take the money and move on," he told Sky Sports.