It was, and still is, considered to be only a matter of time before Mauro Icardi makes his way to the Premier League.
One of the most exciting talents in Serie A, the Argentina international was expected to move to England upon leaving Sampdoria in 2013.
He was, however, to end up at Inter Milan.
Having been left empty-handed on one occasion, the cream of the English crop are determined not to make the same mistake again.
Inter’s need to generate funds through sales, freeing them to dip back into the transfer market, has been widely reported.
Icardi is among their more saleable assets and would generate no shortage of interest were he to be made available.
The possibility of such a decision being taken is said to have pricked the ears Chelsea and Liverpool.
Jose Mourinho boasts a squad brimming with attacking talent, but he could always move players on to free up space in his squad – with Andre Schurrle among those said to be sweating on their Stamford Bridge future.
Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, remains in need of a creative spark in the final third, with his fingers having already been burnt by an Italian raid for Mario Balotelli.
The Anfield boss may well be heading back to Milan for new recruits in January, but Icardi’s representative claims there is no guarantee that his client will be freed from a long-term contract.
Letterio Pino told Sky Sport Italia: “With my colleagues Morano and Savini we are chatting with the club
“I say there is no rush and the utmost calm. He should think about playing, which is more important. Icardi’s contract expires in 2018.”
It should come as no surprise to find an agent getting involved with transfer talk as another window draws ever closer, with it important for them to find the best possible deal – be that at a current employer or elsewhere.
Chelsea and Liverpool are unlikely to have been put off by contract discussions, though, with Roman Abramovich and John W Henry prepared to splash the cash when required.
Icardi would not come cheap, of that there is no doubt, but there would appear to be little risk involved in acquiring the services of a 21-year-old who has already graced one of Europe’s top divisions, earned senior international recognition and offered the promise of more to come as his potential his further unlocked.