It is that time of the year, the domestic season is over and transfer speculation steps up a gear, especially for a top six English Premier League side like Arsenal.
It is not easy to sort out what is real and what is plain nonsense but there are ways that you can at least clear away some of the smoke and narrow the rumours down to some form of credibility.
Just because a particular piece of gossip comes from a well-known journalist or a nationally known media outlet does not immediately make it credible, they are just as likely to feed everyone a line of BS as anyone else.
A little bit of research goes a long way, it is fairly easy to find the original source of a piece of gossip. Providing attribution is standard practice these days, as an example today the Metro published an article claiming Matteo Guendouz can convince Alexis Claude-Maurice to sign for Arsenal. The Metro links that claim to a report in the Mirror and there it ends in terms of attribution and so, the original source can be assumed to be the Mirror.
The next step is to analyse the article in question, looks for quotes, sources or even why they are making the claim they are making.
Well, the Mirror has no quotes, no sources, named or unnamed and on the face of it the only thing that comes close to backing up their claim is that Matteo Guendouz and Alexis Claude-Maurice previously played together.
That tells me that it is just an opinion piece dressed up as speculation and therefore practically worthless and that took me less than three minutes to work out.
Now, not every piece of gossip can be so easily researched and analysed and most of the time who can be bothered, right? But when you do come across an article that claims a player is set to sign for your club, a player you really want to sign, then spending just a little bit of time doing some checking will at least let you know if you are reading BS or something that may actually happen.