During the summer Newcastle United were interested in signing AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.
Italian news outlet Tutto Mercato Web claimed that Steve Bruce was keen to take the Serie A star on loan with a view to buying him for £25 million.
Newcastle apparently tabled an offer of £4.5 million to take the 23-year-old on loan, with a permanent clause inserted into the deal.
Milan rejected the advances and his form this season makes it easy to see why.
Kessie has scored four goals and registered three assists, with his overall play helping Milan to a comfortable position at the top of Serie A.
Given his start to the campaign, the rumours regarding his future have surfaced once again.
Arsenal and Tottenham are both keen to sign the Ivory Coast international, with his valuation now thought to be £45 million (Calciomercato).
It would seem unlikely that Kessie will want to make a switch away from the San Siro in the short-term.
Stafano Poli has built a team that looks capable of ending Juventus’ dominance in Serie A – and Kessie will want to be a part of that.
Have Newcastle missed their chance?
You have to say it looks as though their opportunity to sign him is over.
With the price tag rocketing due to his good form, Kessie is a name that can probably be scrubbed off Newcastle’s list of targets.
Bruce showed serious ambition by trying to sign Kessie and he’d be a top signing for most Premier League clubs.
The midfield maestro has played 44 times for the Ivory Coast and has played over 150 times for Milan.
It’s a case of back to the drawing board for Newcastle.
They do have options in the middle of the park, although none who possess the quality of Kessie.
Jonjo Shelvey looks reborn under Bruce and is the club’s primary midfield option.
Jeff Hendrick arrived on a free in the summer and so far he has flattered to deceive.
Sean Longstaff has been an option in the engine room, with brother Matty fighting his way back to full fitness.
Bruce might look to sign another midfielder when the window reopens, especially if he can land one boasting different qualities to what he currently has.
Kessie, however, looks to be off the radar.