When Jack Butland refused to join Chelsea because it meant he would not play regular first-team football, and then joined Stoke, it was clear the Potters had made him an offer he could not refuse.
Young England ‘keeper Butland has been loaned back to Birmingham and will not play for Stoke this season, because Asmir Begovic- one of the Premier League’s most highly-rated shot-stoppers- is Stoke’s undisputed number one.
But Begovic is likely to be sold for a pretty profit at the end of the season, leaving Butland to take his place between the sticks at the Potteries.
Bosnian international Begovic was a regular news item during the January transfer window, with speculation linking him to Manchester United as David de Gea’s replacement, or Manchester City as an understudy to Joe Hart.
Yet while Begovic accepts that he is likely to be sold at the end of the season, he is adamant that contrary to the rumour mill, he is yet to reach an agreement with either Manchester club.
"I read in the papers that I said no to City and yes to United," Begovic told Oslobodjenje. "But the truth is, I haven't decided on anything.
"I didn't say yes or no to anybody. I haven't signed anything - no contract, no pre-contract. But I believe that Stoke didn't buy Butland to be a reserve so I think I'm going to be sold in the summer.
"To whom? I can't move to a smaller club and I also know that some top clubs are interested in me. They are also the only ones who can afford the fee.
"Now I'm just happy that January is over. It was a hard month for us, so many rumours. Now, we can focus on our games again."