Aston Villa's lack of foresight is set to make them pay, with reports emerging that Fabian Delph could be in line to leave the club this summer on a free transfer.
The England international midfielder has reportedly told the side that he will not sign a new deal at Villa Park and, as a result, he is set to leave at the end of the season.
If Delph does leave it will be a major blow for the Claret and Blue, who have helped develop the central-midfielder into one of the finest English players in his position.
The 24-year-old struggled to reach the standards expected during the early part of his career at Villa Park, but the club persevered with him.
Delph was handed ample opportunities to impress and he finally has started to flourish in the last two seasons.
It seems that their patience will not be rewarded, though, and losing their top player on a free will be a massive loss of quality and potential revenue.
However, Villa have nobody to blame but themselves because of their lack of forward planning.
Just 12 months ago, Delph publicly stated that he wanted to spend the rest of his career at Villa and he was hoping a new contract would be offered.
“I’d love to be here for the rest of my career, but that’s not up to me," he said back in 2013.
“I’m sure if I stay fit, which is a big thing for me, then hopefully I might be offered a new contract."
At this point in time it was clear that Delph was starting to fulfil his promise and his future should have been secured then.
Villa have proven that they are happy to reward spells of good form with contracts - with Paul Lambert's new four-year-deal, which was handed to him four games at the start of the season, looking more and more misguided by the game - and the fact that they failed to offer one to Delph is sure to rankle.
During the 12 months since that statement Villa have regressed, while Delph has continued to progress and interest has grown.
It seems that his head has finally been turned by that speculation, but Villa have nobody else but themselves to blame if they do lose Delph on a free.