Lille defender Ibrahim Amadou pleaded over the phone with the powers that be at the French club to grant him a last-minute move to Crystal Palace - but to no avail.
The 24-year-old, who had been coveted by the London club, took matters into his own hands on Wednesday by getting on a train from Lille to St. Pancras, to try and force the club to sell him at the final hour, in shades of the Peter Odemwingie-QPR debacle in 2013.
The move hinged on Lille being able to recall Portuguese midfielder Xeka from his loan spell at Dijon, but they refused to release the player and Amadou's trip to London was a wasted one.
It was understood by Sky Sports that Palace wanted to take Amadou on loan for £2m, and then pay Lille £14m in the summer to sign him permanently in an OBLIGATION to buy deal.
West Ham were also interested in signing the player and, like the Eagles, offered £2m up front to take him on loan, with a £14m OPTION to buy.
Lille captain Ibrahim Amadou leaving Crystal Palace office in London after £16m transfer collapsed at the last minute pic.twitter.com/BfOxeUjZk8— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) 31 January 2018
Palace's negotiations supposedly took too long for the player to salvage a move to West Ham, and now the player must make his way back to France for a potentially awkward meeting with the club's hierarchy and his teammates.
He was pictured looking particularly downbeat after the collapsed Palace move, and so the situation may well affect him on the pitch going forward.
Lille can't afford the player's head to be elsewhere; they are locked in a relegation battle over in Ligue 1 and need Amadou to be focused ahead of the final third of the season.