Tottenham Hotspur flop Gedson Fernandes seems destined to return to parent club Benfica in the January transfer window, cutting short his original loan agreement by six months.
The Portuguese starlet joined Spurs at the turn of the year on an initial 18-month loan, with a €50m option to buy if Fernandes were to impress in north London.
That has proven to be far from the case, however, and his lack of game time means he could be set to end his Tottenham nightmare half a year earlier than anticipated.
Benfica are preparing to bring back their highly-rated midfielder, and club president Luís Filipe Vieira confirmed the likelihood of a premature reunion while speaking on Portuguese programme Trio d'Ataque.
The 21-year-old struggled to make his mark during his first half-season at Spurs, taking to the field on only seven occasions in the Premier League - playing bit-part roles in each match. Fernandes clearly failed to win over head coach Jose Mourinho during that period, and he has yet to gain his trust this season, either.
The Portugal Under-21 international has not played a single minute of top-flight football since the new campaign began, with his only appearance coming in the Carabao Cup victory over Chelsea at the end of September.
And he won't be given the chance to impress in the Europa League, after Mourinho axed him from the registered squad to challenge in the competition this year.
Fernandes' exclusion has coincided with Mourinho's decision to re-introduce Tanguy Ndombele into the side, after the Frenchman suffered his own teething problems during his maiden Premier League campaign.
The 23-year-old, who is also Tottenham's most expensive signing, has finally started to consistently demonstrate why the north Londoners splashed a record €62m on his services, limiting Fernandes' opportunities even further.