The prospect of Jamie Carragher a sensational playing comeback in the Chinese Super League was soon left on the canvas after the ex-Liverpool and England defender revealed a former boxing world champion had been at the heart of a social media prank.
Carragher, 38, set tongues wagging on Tuesday after a post on his Twitter account appeared, saying he was coming out of retirement.
The post was accompanied by emojis of the Chinese flag and a bank note, suggesting he had designs on joining Carlos Tevez and Oscar among the one-time Premier League stars earning a fortune in the CSL.
Official announcement, delighted to announce I am coming out of retirement, looking forward to getting back on the pitch.— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 17, 2017
The Anfield favourite quickly put paid to fanciful speculation, claiming his account had been hacked - even if the successful Sky television pundit was still cheekily open to a payday.
I didn't tweet this so it looks like I've been hacked! Tweet could've been a lot worse!! But if any Chinese club wants to give me https://t.co/uJozsD2Daj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 17, 2017
A little detective work from Carragher, a keen boxing fan, actually revealed he had been on the end of a sucker punch from a skilled proponent of the noble art.
It turns out hitting the gym with ex-WBO light-middleweight champion Liam Smith, who was among Britain's legion of world beltholders before a knockout loss to pound-for-pound superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last year, can be a painful experience in more ways than one.
Not hacked after all! @LiamBeefySmith & a few rats in the gym got into my Only positive it may alert the clubs I'm available— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 17, 2017