Like one of those transfer deadline days of yore, Tottenham are initially linked with an unattainable superstar, then appear to be on the verge of a somewhat less glamorous deal, before signing no one.
Sometimes they come off, producing peaches such as Rafael van der Vaart six years ago for the paltry sum of £8m, but more often than not Lilywhites fans are left with little but a story.
On the eve of transfer deadline day talk was of Real Madrid’s Isco landing at White Hart Lane on loan, an incredible signing if Spurs could manage it and the type they’ll need if serious about challenging for Champions League honours from 33/1 outsider status.
Alas, that came to nought and attention turned to a mooted move for Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko, but it seems the sides are miles apart in terms of valuation.
The north Londoners have reportedly bid as little as £16m for a player valued at twice that by his club, leading to rumours Spurs have contacted Manchester United over the availability of Sissoko’s fellow France international Morgan Schneiderlin, seemingly as a Plan B.
It all feels a bit haphazard, desperate and panicky after Spurs’ middling start to the Premier League campaign, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men unbeaten yet uninspired in fixtures against Everton, Crystal Palace and Liverpool.
They’re extremely likely to end up with the fewest new signings in the top flight this season, with only midfielder Victor Wanyama and striker Vincent Janssen brought in so far.
West Brom are next-least with three, but Baggies boss Tony Pulis has made no secret of his desire to get numbers up and could double that tally by the end of the day, with Watford right-back Allan Nyom thought to be on the brink of a £3m switch.
Spurs needn’t worry though, as Arsenal, the club that signed the least number of senior players last summer, went up two places in the Premier League last season, much to their north London neighbours’ chagrin.
Pochettino added the joint-second fewest players 12 months ago and also launched his side two spots up the ladder, from fifth to third, with the Lilywhites losing nobody they really wanted to keep during the past two summers.