Any lingering hopes those behind the scenes at either Tottenham or Everton had of recruiting highly-rated Nigeria international Ogenyi Onazi in the near future have been extinguished amid reports that the midfielder has signed a new contract with Lazio.
Everton were linked with a summer move for the £10-million-rated star after seeing him impress for the Super Eagles at the World Cup in Brazil.
The Toffees were reportedly keen admirers of the 21-year-old, who also attracted attention from both Liverpool and Southampton, not only for his excellent displays at international level but also his form in Serie A with Lazio.
Tottenham were also thought to weighing up a bid for the midfielder, who was earmarked for the big-time at an early age, after starring for Nigeria as a teenager at the 2009 under-17 World Cup, where the Super Eagles finished as runners-up.
Onazi first came to the attention of the Lilywhites during a Europa League clash between Spurs and Lazio in which the African star put in an excellent performance to help the Rome club to a 0-0 draw against heavily-fancied opposition.
With 51 games and one goal to his name for the Biancocelesti, Onazi’s new deal is set to run until 2018 and will see him earn a reported €700,000 a year according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The new deal means that, unless the likes of Tottenham or Everton table a substantial bid for the midfielder, he will most likely remain in Italy for the foreseeable future.
Only relegation would see him depart the club abruptly and despite losing two of their first three games in Serie A, the capital club look unlikely to struggle this season.
Everton and Tottenham could now turn their attentions to alternative midfield reinforcements, with both likely to strengthen their squads in January ahead of a renewed assault on the Premier League top four and Champions League qualification.
Here are some of Onazi's best Lazio moments - would he be worth making a big money bid for?