Reports emanating from the Italian press suggest Arsenal midfielder Gilberto is being eyed by Internazionale.
The Brazilian has enjoyed an excellent season thus far at Emirates Stadium and has even added a goal touch to his fine defensive qualities, having weighed in with eight already.
Gilberto's contract is set to expire in 2009 and it is in the summer, rather than January, that Inter would be interested in doing business.
Arsene Wenger would be loath to lose a player that has been integral to his line-up since arriving in North London and it is thought Arsenal will offer him fresh terms.
However, should they fail to concur on an extension with their deputy captain, then he is unlikely to be short of suitors.
It has even been suggested Inter's city rivals Milan could also be interested in Gilberto, with a summer battle to ensue should Arsenal fail to tie him down to fresh terms.
Inter had been linked with an approach for Torino midfielder Simone Barone but it would seem their Serie A rivals are loath to allow his departure.
"Barone is not available," said Torino president Urbano Cairo.
"He won't move from here. I'm pleased he's the target for a big side like Inter, but personally, for me this negotiation does not exist."