Both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur appear to have missed the opportunity to sign Juan Mata. Tottenham because the Spain international decided against moving to the English Premier League club, and Arsenal because they failed to deposit the €23 million (Dh120.5m) sum required to exercise his buyout clause.
Mata, a World Cup winner with Spain last summer and a European Under 21 championship winner this, had been identified by Arsene Wenger as a key reinforcement to Arsenal's attack.
The player's complex contract with Valencia permitted him to leave if a suitor deposited the €23m by the end of July and the Spanish club elected not to increase Mata's salary by a predetermined sum.
As the buyout deadline approached on Sunday, Mata had decided he was not interested in joining Spurs, even though the north London club had gone public with their desire to sign him. Instead, he had chosen to sign for Arsenal, who during conversations with Valencia had intimated an intention to meet the buyout fee.
Payment, however, was not forthcoming, resulting in the 23 year old's buyout clause increasing to an inaccessible €60m. Though Valencia will still consider selling their star asset, they are now understood to want €30m. They already have an insurance policy in place, having taken Sergio Canales on a two-year loan from Real Madrid.
With Barcelona endeavouring to limit their outlay on Cesc Fabregas, and Samir Nasri eager to move to Manchester City, Arsenal enter the final month of the transfer window with major concerns over last season's two most effective players and only one new recruit of real significance - Gervinho.
And Spurs, who have so far resisted Chelsea's overtures for Luka Modric, have yet to make any significant outfield signings.