Sepp van den Berg joined Schalke on a season-long loan from Liverpool at the end of August, having already completed the formalities over a switch elsewhere.
It is a situation Liverpool have found themselves in in recent years, with every detail of a transfer talking place before the plug is pulled last minute.
Nabil Fekir had undergone media duties with club staff prior to a proposed £53 million move from Lyon in 2018, only for a snag in his medical and a late change of demands to lead to its collapse.
Now, it transpires that a similar situation took place with Van den Berg in the summer transfer window, only for a delay in Liverpool signing off on a loan to the Championship to see the deal fall through.
Blackburn director of football Gregg Broughton, speaking to the club’s official website, has explained how close the Dutchman was to joining.
“I think it was open knowledge that he was here, he did his medical, he did his interviews and photographs with the media team,” Broughton revealed.
“There was then an injury crisis at Liverpool, they weren’t prepared to sign that off despite the fact everything was done at our end.”
Liverpool had received approaches from both Blackburn and Burnley, and though Van den Berg himself has claimed there was no agreement with the Clarets, it is clear that a move to Ewood Park was more favourable.
By the time Gomez was back up to speed and Matip had returned to training, the pieces had moved when it came to Van den Berg and Blackburn.
“As [the injury crisis] came towards the end, Liverpool won 9-0 at home and we got the call to say that the deal could happen quite quickly,” Broughton continued.
“However, Schalke made a player sale to AC Milan overnight and things moved again.
“We weren’t prepared to wait for Sepp to make his mind up and we had to move quickly to bring both Dom [Hyam] and Clinton [Mola] in after that.”
Van den Berg ultimately joined Schalke, replacing the Milan-bound Malick Thiaw, but Broughton’s comments show a rare transparency on the developments in transfer talks.