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 linked at a fee in the region of £25 million.
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.
However there was still hope that they could move for the player, who has also interested Barcelona and Real Madrid, in the summer - once his back problem had resolved itself.
But not anymore.
Gundogan has made his immediate future very clear by signing on the dotted line of a brand new contract with Borussia Dortmund.
The German international has signed a contract extension until 2016 with the club - ensuring that for now he will remain a Borussia Dortmund player - despite admitting in the past his ‘dream’ of playing for United.
And he has now explained why he made the decision:
“Yes I believe I know just what I am at Borussia Dortmund … I guess I feel very comfortable being here and around despite my long injury time now I think out of it months ago. And that [I am] loved in spite of this [injury absence]. Very high value, very close to me and we have to. Course I also hope that since I can come back and engage next season. This is very important for me…”
Gundogan has not signed a deal that says hands off - but it certainly is one that makes it clear he is not ready for a move at this point of his career.
He has just spent an entire season injured on the side-lines and a move this summer would make little or no sense.
Like he says, he feels ‘comfortable’ at Signal Iduna Park and it remains the best place for him to enjoy his recovery from injury.
But United should certainly keep him on the shortlist.