Manchester United 'giving up' on Toni Kroos spiked all the rumours he was Old Trafford bound, but with a surprising twist.
The Guardian report that United had abandoned their chase of the midfielder was surprising, because it had seemed the club were so determined to land the German.
So what of the two other Bayern Munich players rumoured also to be interesting Van Gaal's United, Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller?
The same newspaper claimed United were interest in the duo just one week ago, with the pair likely to have cost a combined £50 million.
So with Kroos off the table, does this make United more or less likely to land either?
Well Robben was always a tall order, given he only signed a new contract with Bayern in April, to take him up until 2018. The repeated transfer links suggesting he may be Old Trafford bound were only ever circumstantial, with Louis van Gaal his boss there, and presently with Holland.
Muller is a homegrown Bayern player, and one who said this week that there was 'nothing better' than playing for his current club, with his contract taking him up to 2017. The Guardian again last night reported United were likely to hit a dead end regarding a possible transfer for him.
Toni Kroos, with a deal expiring next summer, had appeared the most straightforward of the trio to sign, yet Bayern Munich have rebuffed every advance from the club, and do not want to be seen as a selling side.
By walking away from the Kroos deal, United may have at the same time signalled the end of their interest in Robben and Muller, conceding buying the stars will simply not be possible.
Given the way they struck out unsuccessfully last summer in pursuit of players, United need good news, andcan't afford to waste time on players who they do not have a chance of signing.
If there's a genuine chance of signing either, then they may pursue it, but from the outside it looks impossible Bayern will agree to allowing such stars so integral to their plans walk away whatever the price.