Liverpool's hunt for Scott Dann got infinitely more complicated over the weekend, when a new Premiership club jumped into the hunt for the versatile defender.
The Reds have been in the market for defensive help for much of the summer under manager Kenny Dalglish. After giving up 10 goals in six preseason games, the Reds ramped up their chase for a centre-back, looking hard at Bolton's Gary Cahill and Dann, while their efforts to land Newcastle right-back Jose Enrique was kicked to the back burner.
While the Reds were linked to a move for Dann for much of the summer, a Daily Mail report hinted that their chase just got much tougher. According to the report, Arsenal's scouts were seen at last weekend's match between Birmingham and Tottenham, and most believed that the Gunners were watching the versatile 24-year-old centre-back.
With a new team in the hunt for Dann, are the Reds in danger of whiffing on their top remaining target?
There's definitely some serious cause for concern here if you're at Anfield. While Liverpool remain an elite club, and have boosted their talent level considerably this summer, Arsenal can offer one thing the Reds cannot: Champions League football.
With that trump card in their hands, the Gunners could definitely swoop in and steal a player Dalglish has had his eye on throughout the summer. Liverpool don't have any European tournament to offer Dann, and while they could easily make it back this season, that still poses a disadvantage to their hopes of landing him.
But Anfield still has plenty going for it in the hunt for the 24-year-old Englishman. Dann is a Liverpool native, which figures to work in the Reds' favor in their hunt for Dann.
On top of that, the Reds have been scouting Dann all summer long, and have been the front-runners from the start of the transfer period. Why would Arsenal's recent re-entry into the race change that?
If I'm Dalglish, Arsenal's interest in my top target is a slight concern, but not enough of one to merit ramping up my interest any more than I already have. Arsenal are thought to prefer Gary Cahill (although that could change), and with Liverpool holding the home-pitch advantage, Dann is still likely to wind up at Anfield if he leaves the Blues this summer. He's at the top of Dalglish's wish list, and as long as Liverpool make a solid offer for him, I don't see Arsenal pulling off a swoop to steal him at this stage.