Aston Villa have missed out on an ideal transfer deal which could have helped them turn around their ailing season.
L'Equipe is reporting that Younes Belhanda is to sign on loan with German side Schalke, until the end of the campaign from Dinamo Kiev.
Belhanda is a former Ligue 1 title winner with Montpellier, where he was the playmaker who combined to effectively with Olivier Giroud to fire his side to glory.
Villa are known to be admirers of the player, with Montpellier president Louis Nicollin confirming in 2013 they had rejected an offer from the club, SkySports reported.
With former Ligue 1 boss Remi Garde at the helm at Villa Park, the club should have been pushing to sign Belhanda on loan.
It would have been tough to convince him to join permanently given the high possibility they will be playing Championship football next season, but a loan switch could have been a compromise.
Schalke have more to offer, and it's quite possible Villa just couldn't compete. They are sixth in the Bundesliga and the move is a good one for him, but for the Premier League side, it is a real opportunity missed.