The story of this summer so far for us Gooners is that both Emmanuel Adebayor and Alexander Hleb are on their way out of the club, with Barcelona being their destination of choice.
As usual, Arsenal have remained tight lipped about the speculation, while Barca have been shouting from the top of their very tall stadium that both players want to make the move and therefore should be at the Nou Camp soon.
That remains to be seen, but if it does go ahead then I'm hoping that Arsene Wenger uses his position of strength to broker a deal whereby Yaya Toure comes in part exchange for one player, while I wouldn't be surprised if Samuel Eto'o was involved in the other deal. I'd love to think that Thierry Henry might return, but the realist in me doesn't think that will happen.
Anyway, whatever happens we're in another summer break where Barcelona seem to dominate any headlines regarding Arsenal's star players. Over the years we've poached Cesc Fabregas and Fran Merida from the Catalan club, but they have taken some of our club's prize assets along the way.
In 2000 Barca bought Marc Overmars for £25 million and Emmanuel Petit for £5 million; Giovanni Van Bronckhorst joined the Gunners from Rangers in 2001, but two years later he too went to Barca on loan. His transfer fee to the Spanish giants was never disclosed, but it's rumoured that the deal was nominal to placate Barca over the signing of Fabregas; and of course last season, Arsenal's record goalscorer Thierry Henry became a Barca player after a £16 million transfer to the club.
Even ignoring the Van Bronckhorst deal, that means Arsenal have profited greatly from the Catalan club over the years. Wenger made £18 million profit on the sale of Overmars, £2.5 million on the Petit deal and £5.6 million on Henry, bringing the grand total to more than £26 million.
That money has been wisely reinvested in numerous Arsenal players over the years, but as a fan it is galling to lose talent to Barcelona who more than any other European outfit seem to view Arsenal as feeder club. I can't think of a recent season where the Barca hierarchy didn't try to unsettle Arsenal players, while their Spanish rivals Real Madrid seem to do the same thing on an annual basis with Man United.
Hopefully one day soon Arsenal will be in the financial position where they can just laugh at speculation and fend off predatory clubs by stating that our best talent just simply isn't for sale. But until then, I suspect we'll continue to be treated as a training ground by Barca at least until the inevitable happens and Cesc Fabregas moves back to the city of his birth to play for his childhood heroes.