The would-be transfer saga of the summer - again - could be a non-starter.
Real Madrid have moved to distance themselves from Cristiano Ronaldo, issuing a statement to that effect. Former president Ramon Calderon claimed to have a pre-contract agreement in place, and current boardroom candidate Florentino Perez was expected to force through the deal with the Red Devils.
Manchester United, of course, have always fought hard to keep the Spanish giants at bay. Now, it appears as though the Bernabeu side have got the message.
"In relation to the reports that have appeared in several media in the last few hours, regarding the alleged signing of the Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo, the club want to categorically deny said information," reads the statement.
"There exists no pre-agreement, neither with the player, nor with his agent [Jorge Mendes], nor with Manchester United.
"As is well known, Real Madrid tried to sign the player last summer and Manchester United made it clear that the player was not transferable."
Greg Ptolomey, Goal.com