Chelsea's pursuit of David Luiz appeared to end before it barely began on Tuesday night after Paris Saint-Germain rejected their reported £32million offer to bring him back to Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte's desperate search for a new centre-back brought him to the Brazilian, who left Chelsea in a £50million deal two seasons ago. However, PSG were in no mood to do business, at least not for the price Chelsea wanted to pay.
According to the Daily Mail, talks between the two clubs are continuing with the Ligue 1 club informing their Premier League counterparts that they would be willing to sell Luiz before the transfer deadline passes so long as Chelsea pay £40m.
Article continues below
PSG were originally reluctant to let the 27-year-old leave but he has reportedly informed officials at Parc des Princes that he is unsettled in the French capital and fancies a return to west London.
Although they will have little time to sign a replacement, Unai Emery appears confident in his current centre-back pairing of Thiago Silva and Marquinhos, the latter of which has also been a target for Conte in the recent past.
Article continues below
If the deal does go through, which seems unlikely at this juncture, then Luiz would hold two of the three biggest transfer fees for a defender. He remains the most expensive in history with John Stones' £47.5m move to Manchester City the only one coming close.
For a player who never really convinced in the Premier League and is still questioned in his native Brazil, it would be an incredible record to hold.
What is undeniable, however, is his popularity. While his sale was seen as good business by Chelsea fans, many were sad to see this entertaining character leave the club. He was, after all, part of the team that won the FA Cup and the Europa League.
But there will be no chance of Luiz repeating that feat in the current campaign because Chelsea have no European football after their tenth-place finish last season. That may have caused Conte problems with recruitment this summer but it is not an issue for Luiz.
He is said to hold no qualms with regards to Chelsea's lower standing and is relishing the prospect of getting his former club back to the upper echelons of the Premier League.
Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessandro Romagnoli have both been pursued throughout the summer but Napoli and AC Milan have refused to do business for any reasonable price.
They have also been linked with Valencia star Aymen Abdennour, who would join on loan with a view to a permanent deal.