If Florent Malouda thought he had a chance of being part of Chelsea's future, it was more or less confirmed he was not wanted when he was not selected in the Champions League Final.
It wasn't just any old snub, Roberto di Matteo decided he would rather hand a Champions League debut to defender Ryan Bertrand at left wing, ahead of the Frenchman.
So if the winger, so instrumental in Chelsea's 2009-10 title triumph, thought he was going to be considered this season, he was living in cloud cuckoo land.
With Eden Hazard and Marko Marin signed to add competition in the wide positions, his Blues career was clearly more or less over. It would only be a matter of time before he moved away. Right?
Well you would have thought so, but all of Europe's transfer windows have passed, and he remains at Chelsea. Even David Bentley secured an exit from Tottenham's reserves.
With Malouda still at the club the situation he now finds himself in is dire, forced to train with the squad's under-21 players, although he is included in the Blues 25 man Premier League squad, he is not in their Champions League squad.
He is expected to clinch a move to former club Lyon in January, not that it helps him right now.
The big mystery to us, is quite why he was not able to secure a move away from the club this summer?
It was obvious before the transfer window opened that he had no future at Stamford Bridge, and you might have thought there would be no shortage of takers for his signature.
It wasn't like Chelsea priced him out of a move either, his contract expires next summer and would have been available for a fraction of the £13 million the club paid for him five years earlier.
A return to France was mooted, and even the possibility switch to Santos in Brazil was reported to be on the table at one stage.
Could it be that he himself priced himself out of a move with his own wage demands? He is on a substantial £80,000 per week at Chelsea, and at 32 still feels he is entitled to ask for the big money, despite a disappointing 2011/12.
When the transfer negotiations with Santos were reported, it was claimed that the Frenchman was asking for £1.5 million per year, plus a £500,000 signing on fee. The Santos coach made overtures that he was keen on the winger, and it seems the club were simply unwilling to pay what he was asking.
His former club Lyon are now said to be interested in signing him in January, but to put it simply, why did they leave it until it is too late?
Malouda may not be the dynamic player of a couple of seasons ago, but he proved in the FA Cup semi-final when he scored past Tottenham that he still has the ability to be effective on the big stage, and even scored for France in an international friendly against Serbia this May, seemingly the perfect time to put himself in the shop window.
The fact nobody took a punt on signing him on the cheap, or the fact the player did not push hard enough for a move away, remains a bit of a mystery.
Why do you think Malouda was not snapped up this summer?
image: © Ben Sutherland