Alan Hutton's hopes of a Sunderland future look set to be dashed as Argentinian right-back Marcos Angeleri goes through the final stages of a move to the Black Cats.
The 27-year-old South American has been on Wearside this week to undergo a medical ahead of a move – just as Belgian keeper Simon Mignolet also finalises his transfer from St Truiden.
And with the signing now expected to go ahead, Sunderland's interest in Hutton, as well as Aston Villa right-back Luke Young, looks set to be dropped.
In an ideal world, manager Steve Bruce would have liked to sign both Hutton and Angeleri.
But with the manager's war-chest not as substantial as some have speculated, Angeleri's arrival will signal the end of Hutton's time on Wearside.
The Scotland international joined Sunderland on loan from Spurs in January and enjoyed a successful spell at the Stadium of Light.
His confident runs forward and solid defending saw him edge out Phil Bardsley as first-choice right-back and the season ended with both Bruce and Hutton looking at a permanent deal for the defender.
The sticking point was always going to be the inflated 9m fee that previous Spurs boss Juande Ramos had paid Rangers for the Scot in 2008.
Although current Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp was the first to admit that Hutton had been ridiculously over-priced, chairman Daniel Levy is renowned for trying to drive a hard bargain and had signalled he wanted to recoup the fee paid.
That was a non-starter for Sunderland, who might have gone as far as 4m.
But with Angeleri available for roughly half that fee, the Wearsiders have saved themselves a summer of haggling with Spurs by pushing ahead with the move for the Estudiantes defender.
It will be a massive blow for Hutton, who had relished his time at Sunderland where he had revived his career, and it will also be a setback for Spurs who, despite talking the player up, are desperate to offload him this summer.
What it means for Bardsley remains to be seen.
Bruce originally named half-a-dozen players last month who could leave the club and Bardsley and fellow defender Anton Ferdinand were not on that list.
It was widely believed, though, that the manager would listen to offers for both if the price was right.
Newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion have been credited with an interest in the former Manchester United youth product, but Blackpool have now also entered the chase for a defender who is never less than whole-hearted.
And Bruce will face a decision over whether to allow Bardsley to leave and risk a similar situation as last season when he allowed reliable left-back Danny Collins to leave and suddenly found himself short in that position.