Carlos Tevez's proposed £40million move from Manchester City to Brazilian outfit Corinthians has collapsed.
City thought a deal had been agreed for their skipper to get his wish and leave the club, allowing him to go back to South America and be closer to his wife Vanesa and two young daughters.
Manager Roberto Mancini thought Tevez was on his way, with the majority of the striker's team-mates of the same opinion.
However, with the Brazilian transfer window looming, Corinthians dropped a bombshell on their official website this evening.
"The board of Sporting Club Corinthians hereby officially announce the impossibility of hiring the Argentine striker Carlos Tevez," said the statement.
"While acknowledging the efforts of Manchester City and all involved in the negotiation, more time is needed for the transfer to be achieved, given that the window to sign players from abroad closes on Wednesday, July 20.
"We are aware of the dream our fans had of having this player at Corinthians again and we look forward to him being with us in the near future."
That indicates Corinthians will try to put a deal in place during the January transfer window, even though Tevez wanted to have left the Blues by then.
Yet the number of clubs who can afford the former West Ham man is slim.
Corinthians came out of left field to make their move and this failure will re-open debate about Inter Milan, Real Madrid or Juventus.
Yet, so far, none of these clubs has shown any great desire to snap up the joint Golden Boot-winner, whose impressive industry is matched only by his ability to court controversy.
Corinthians' response to City's demand for a proper payment schedule was perhaps a sign the transfer would not have gone smoothly even if it had gone through.
It leaves Tevez, back home after Argentina's untimely Copa America exit, to contemplate his fate, knowing City are keen to lure fellow countryman Sergio Aguero to the club and provide even more competition for places.