Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Loïc Rémy’s situation is more akin to a man crawling on an interminably slow-moving motorway shorn of all its exits.
The wantaway QPR striker was on the verge of an £8m move to Liverpool before the deal fell through. Personal terms had been agreed, and the Frenchman had been handed Luis Suarez’ No 7 shirt before the Anfield club’s 11-hour withdrawal.
Harry Redknapp appeared to suggest however that the downfall of Rémy’s move was not due to any medical issue.
“All the talk of a medical issue doesn’t make sense to me,” said the QPR manager.
"It can't be a medical (issue) because he's never been unfit. It's not possible. It certainly didn't make any sense - there has to be another reason. It can't be a medical issue.
"There must have been some kind of breakdown or they've decided to move in another direction.”
The collapse of the deal leaves Rémy adrift, at the whim of a man and club for whom he has little desire to play. Both parties may eventually be forced into swallowing their respective doses of pride and remaining locked in an awkward, unwilling embrace. Yet if the QPR boss decides to shop Rémy around again, there will be no shortage of willing suitors lining up for his services.
Here are five clubs who would surely accept an injury-prone yet talented striker with open arms.
Alan Pardew was reportedly thwarted in his first attempt this summer to bring Remy back to St James’ Park following his successful loan spell last season. Anfield was clearly the more attractive destination for the striker – unsurprisingly, given that Liverpool’s imminent Champions League campaign. However, after that move failed to materialise the Magpies may represent the next-best option. They desperately need a striker and Rémy desperately needs a home – and the potential Gallic Rémy partnership of Cabella and Loïc has a dangerous look to it.
Newcastle United: Potential transfer targets
Newcastle United: Potential transfer targets
1/8 Emmanuel Riviere
A versatile striker who can also operate on the wings, Emmanuel Riviere filled in admirably for Radamel Falcao after the Colombian star got injured for Monaco last season. Only 24, Riviere would take time to adapt to the Premier League but has the potential to develop into an exciting goalscorer.
2/8 Darren Bent
The former Sunderland striker has had a torrid time since leaving the Black Cats, enjoying just one good season at Aston Villa before losing his scoring touch. With the future of Papiss Cisse still a doubt, Alan Pardew may feel he wants a proven Premier League goalscorer.
3/8 Mohamed Diame
Powerful West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame is being lined up by plenty of suitors this summer, but appears happy in east London. The Senegalese midfielder fits the mould of strong and fast midfielders who can carry the ball - he has an eye for goal, too
4/8 Ryan Shawcross
Fabricio Coloccini seems much more settled now than he was back in January but Newcastle still need another quality centre-back alongside their Argentinian skipper. Steven Taylor can often be a liability, while Mike Williamson is no more than a backup. Shawcross has England ambitions and may feel a move to a 'bigger' team would help his chances.
5/8 Jack Rodwell
Jack Rodwell is miserable in Manchester and while he is not good enough to break into a City team containing Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, he is more than capable of starring regularly in the Premier League. It would be a real coup if they could pull it off, but young English talent always costs a premium.
6/8 Bafetimbi Gomis
A long term target of Newcastle, Gomis has the strength and aerial ability that would make him perfectly suited to the hustle and bustle of English football. He sometimes suffers from a lackadaisical style on the pitch, but he has scored more than 20 goals in each of the last three seasons.
7/8 Victor Ibarbo
Quick, tall and strong the Colombian winger prived a constant handful in the Cagliari side last season, though he does drift in and out of matches. The signing of Cabella probably means an Ibarbo deal is unlikely, but should Moussa Sissoko leave, Pardew will need another wide man.
8/8 Carl Jenkinson
Was mooted to be part of the deal that will see Mathieu Debuchy eventually join Arsenal, the arrival of Daryl Janmaat likely means a deal for Jenkinson is off. Although his game is quite raw, he is young and able to play across the back four, meaning he would become an invaluable squad player were he to sign.
The south coast club would appear on first, second and third glances to be an ideal fit for Rémy. Shorn of their prize forwards in Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez, who looks to be on his way to White Hart Lane Southampton need to find a replacement fast – and preferably one who fits new manager Ronald Koeman’s style of play. Rémy is nimble-footed, fast over the ground and technically sound – all qualities that will appeal to the Dutchman.
Rémy’s former club are a pale imitation of the force that once bestrode the European game. Nor are they as strong as they were when the French international was leading their line, having endured a chaotic season under Elie Baup. But with the enigmatic Chilean Marcelo Bielsa now in charge, fortunes may be looking up on the French Riviera. Marseille cannot offer European football in 2014/15 for the first time in a decade – but the lure of the Stade Velodrome atmosphere and the comfort of a homecoming might be enough to convince Rémy to rejoin the club he left in 2013.
Jay Rodriguez appears to set for a move to North London, but with only Emmanuel Adebayor and the unproven Harry Kane currently occupying their striking ranks Spurs still appear short of quality forwards. Rémy would add movement to what was all too often a static, cumbersome side last season, forcing the likes of Jan Vertonghen to keep the ball on the grass instead of launching it high in the general direction of the beanpole-esque Togolese centre-forward.
The multi-billion Euro project is not quite working out as envisaged in the Principality, with Monaco’s marquee names seemingly content to stay for a season and rake in the lucrative deals on offer before heading as fast as possible for pastures more ambitious. Even Claudio Ranieri has found the atmosphere of massive money and tiny crowds too claustrophobic, departing to take over as Greece coach. But if Rémy is to head out on loan again Monaco could well be an ideal option – particularly now that Radamel Falcao looks like he will spend the season on loan at Real Madrid. Monaco need a forward and they will pay over and above the market rate.