So Sunderland had a fee agreed with Reading for the transfer of midfielder George Evans, the club and player had even settled on personal terms. Supporters have been waiting with baited breath for the grand unveil, all seemingly for nothing yet again.
So it's all - reportedly - gone wrong - again. What is going on?
There is a growing feeling on Wearside that continually airing your transfer business on social media and via the internet is all getting, well, a bit weird. In an age when manipulating the mood is increasingly important and ever challenging, are Sunderland really getting it right with just a few weeks of the transfer window left to run?
Certainly Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven were installed as the Black Cats new owners on a tide of good feeling. That bon homie was as much driven by a relief to see the back of Ellis Short as it was their own presence in the Stadium of Light boardroom, but the pair quickly demonstrated their flair for good PR with a raft of quick-wins which included getting shot of Jack Rodwell and announcing plans to get rid of the embarassing pink seats at Sunderland's home.
And while some of the transfer dealings this summer have come straight out of nowhere - as Friday's signing of former Sheffield Wednesday defender Glen Loovens demonstrated - the bids the club have been making involving actual cash for the 'quality' additions that the Sunderland squad is crying out for, have almost all been played out in public.
Each of these 'swoops' has even followed a now tried and tested pattern. News of a bid leaks to certain carefully chosen outlets before then playing out in a minor media frenzy both in the press covering the bidders and the sellers. Last week it was Mo Eisa, this week it may well be George Evans.
In the vaccum, supporters are left cursing for a second before concluding that the club is better off without whomever it was that had decided they don't want to join ProjectSAFC.
But this really isn't unusual. Most transfer bids quickly become failed transfer bids. Most offers are rejected and lots and lots of players decide they don't want to join the club who's in for them. Indeed, a helluva lot of footballers negotiate personal terms while weighing up whatever other offers may land on their table at the last minute.
It's entirely probable that this is exactly what George Evans has been doing this weekend. Whether he joins Sunderland or not, his next move will almost certainly depend upon whether he has a more attractive offer - from the Championship for example.
That's entirely normal, but many are starting to think that this public spectacle of playing out transfer business - in its entirety - in public, is getting all a bit weird - desperate even, small time perhaps.