In one of the most protracted pieces of transfer speculation of the summer, England international and Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry had alerted Liverpool to his growth in stature. The courtship was two-ways as Barry, who has been a Villan all his professional life, went as far to criticise manager Martin O'Neill for making him feel unwanted.
The midlands club set deadlines for the deal, while the Mersey side recruited other areas of the team with expensive acquisitions, namely Robbie Keane.
The deal now looks dead. For this window at least, but the story has risen again because of the ironic timing of Liverpool's visit to Villa Park.
Barry is quoted in the Metro as saying: "Will Sunday be strange? I am 100 per cent for Villa. That's all I'll be doing. That won't be strange at all. I've spoken to the manager and I've no problem giving 100 per cent for Aston Villa - and that will be starting against Liverpool on Sunday."
"Will the fans all be behind me?" He asked. "All I can do is give 100 per cent for the club. That is all the fans will want to see anyway. I am sure that will be enough."
"Am I here for the long haul? I always take things a season at a time. This speculation happened at the end of last season and it has been decided I'll be staying at Villa. 'I'll take this season now," he continued, "concentrate on that and hopefully we can improve on last season."
Forever begging the questions Barry added: "Do I feel hung out to dry over what has happened? That is what the football business is all about. I am contracted to Villa. They set a fee and it wasn't matched. Rules are rules."
Regarding any ill-feeling toward his current manager, the 27-year old said: "The manager knows I will be giving 100 per cent for himself and the club and that will be fine for everyone.... It's also nice hearing team-mates want you to stay. We have a great dressing room. You want everyone to stay really but I would have been disappointed if they wanted me to leave!"
Perhaps due to the public flirtation between Barry and Liverpool, Martin O'Neill has alternated the captaincy, with Barry yet to receive the armband this campaign, he said: "The manager decided to change the captaincy and I've got no problem with that. Nigel Reo-Coker has done it and Martin Laursen has done it. I enjoyed being captain but it won't affect my performances," he said.
Concerning his own fitness and recent performances, the midfielder added: "I feel I am getting back to my best. It is going to take a while. It wasn't the ideal pre-season for me... the games are always the best thing. It was a nice run-out even if it was at left-back."
The Hastings-born man finished by saying: "How far am I away from my peak? I don't know. I suppose everyone will wait for top performances and then say I'm fit so I suppose I'll have to start producing some of those."