Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan over the past 18 months - and with good reason, he is a superb midfield option.
But no matter how interested they were in his signature it has never been on the cards - as Gundogan’s season has been blighted by persistent injury problems.
He picked up a back injury in the opening game of the season against FC Augsburg - meaning he has played just 57 minutes of football this season.
Originally scheduled back in January he suffered a setback and still Dortmund are waiting to see if he can make it back before the end of the season.
But it is not just his current club and those who would like to be his future club that are wishing him a speedy recovery - but the national team will obviously want him back in time for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
Gundogan however can put that dream on hold.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has been speaking about the midfield maestro’s fitness today - and on the subject of the World Cup he was less than optimistic.
Klopp told German media:
"It is certain that Ilkay will not be fit enough to return this season. The healing process prevents it still.” When pressed on whether that ruled him out of the World Cup - he suggested that very fact: "This is the hardest for Ilkay."
It certainly seems that Gundogan’s World Cup dream is now over - but what of his future.
United are not alone in wanting him.
Arsenal have been mentioned - as have Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.
But after just 57 minutes of Bundesliga football this season and one failed comeback what team would be prepared to take such a monumental gamble on an expensive player with such a flaky recent fitness record.
For Gundogan it appears a World Cup place and a summer move now look very, very unlikely.