Wesley Sneijder gave clubs from around the English Premier League a chance to land him before finally accepting a move to Turkish side Galatasaray. No teams stepped up, and they will come to regret that decision once the star midfielder regains top form.
Simon Rice of The Independent reports Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal were all tracking the Netherlands international's situation, but now medical clearance is the only thing standing between Sneijder and Galatasaray.
The 28-year-old superstar was phased out at Inter Milan and hasn't played competitive football since September, so it's no surprise he moved during the January transfer window. The surprise was the lack of major interest from English clubs.
Although it will take some time for the playmaker to re-establish himself following that extended layoff, he's still one of the most talented midfielders in the world. He would have provided a boost to any Premier League midfield.
Sneijder illustrated that immense skill before getting sidelined by Inter. He had tallied two goals and three assists in eight appearances before the club decided to bench him.
Players with his type of talent are rarely on the market in January, which is when top clubs are usually looking to add rather than subtract. And when they are, a bidding war usually ensues between several teams to land them.
That wasn't the case with Sneijder. He waited, waited and then waited some more after Galatasaray agreed with Inter on a fee, but the market remained silent, and now he's heading to Turkey.
Whether it was because of his contract demands, the requested transfer fee or concerns about his form after sitting out for so long, no Premier League side felt the need to go all-in on him.
It's a mistake. Midfielders with his combination of creativity, vision and distribution ability don't come along often. He wouldn't have just survived in the EPL, he would have thrived if given the opportunity by United, Liverpool or another club.
Instead, he'll head to Galatasaray, where it will be tougher for him to make the same type of impact. Even though the club has been successful—Turkish Super Lig champions last season—it still doesn't have the appeal of an English side.
Those clubs that did have interest in Sneijder will surely track his progress to see if they made the right decision by passing on him. But once he finds his footing in his new home, the Dutch star is going to once again show why he's among the best midfielders on the planet.
Premier League clubs will then rue the decision to let him slip away when they had a chance.