The on-again, off-again proposed transfer of Oussama Assaidi from Liverpool to Stoke City for a fee of around £4.5M is once again off today. News in recent weeks suggesting all sides were at least close to agreeing a deal in principle may have gotten everybody's hopes up, but today Mark Hughes has once again dashed them. So it goes.
"It's common knowledge Ozzie is somebody we would like to bring into the club," said Stoke's manager on Thursday, "but at the moment that deal has gone cold. He is one we have chased for a while now, but there hasn't been any real movement on that front so we will just have to wait and see what the situation is with regards to that deal."
It's no secret that Assaidi, currently out of action as he continues to recover from complications following a ligament injury first suffered in February, is not in Brendan Rodgers' plans at Liverpool. Now, increasingly, it appears he may not end up being in Stoke's plans, either, despite that neither manager nor club has made a secret of their interest in signing him.
If a deal cannot be done in the next few weeks, either another loan to an English side or a return to the Netherlands at a discount would seem the most likely outcomes for the 25-year-old winger, who signed from Heerenveen two years ago.
Assaidi made 25 appearances for Stoke last season across all competitions and scored five goals. With the clubs believed to be in agreement concerning his fee, if the deal has indeed fallen through the most likely cause is an impasse over wages.