Manchester United were very strongly linked with signing right-back Kieran Trippier in the summer, with The Telegraph reporting the player was keen on the move.
Atletico and United could not see eye to see on a fee, and as the window went on, priorities at Old Trafford changed, and pursuit of the right-back were shelved.
Now the deal is entirely off the table, with Trippier set to clinch a move to another Premier League side, newly rich Newcastle United.
Sky Sports report Newcastle have agreed a £12 million move plus add-ons with Atletico for Trippier, a relative bargain for an international defender.
Should Manchester United have moved?
If Atletico were ready to deal for £12 million in the summer, Manchester United probably would have paid it.
The Telegraph reported in summer Atletico wanted £30 million from the Red Devils, and United backed off.
This time even at a reduced price, United did not blink, and have let Newcastle move unopposed for Trippier.
Part of this could be down the wages Newcastle are offering, with 90Min claiming the defender will earn £160,000 per week.
The other aspect is the progress Diogo Dalot has been making. The Portugal international has fought his way back into United’s side as a legitimate competitor for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
United don’t actually need a third right-back, especially with Ethan Laird coming through. When Trippier was linked in the summer, it was on the basis Dalot would go.
Unless United were willing to sell Wan-Bissaka or Dalot, then it becomes difficult to add Trippier in right now.
What you could argue, in favour, is that Trippier would be the best player of all three.
The England international is experienced, having played in the Champions League final and the World Cup, and knows the Premier League. He can also cover at left-back when needed.
The biggest asset Trippier would have brought to the club is his crossing ability. This is the area Aaron Wan-Bissaka really struggles, and his addition would have been a way to better emphasise Cristiano Ronaldo’s ability to head the ball, which the team have not been able to take advantage of regularly.
One way or another, United may be looking for a new right-back over the next couple of years, with question marks over both Wan-Bissaka and Dalot, and Laird still and unknown quantity. The answer just won’t be Trippier.
United still gain advantage
While United’s decision to backtrack from a move for Trippier could be a missed opportunity, the move still works to the club’s advantage.
Trippier was set to face Manchester United over two legs in the forthcoming Champions League last 16, matches which really could have exposed the club’s failure to land him as a big mistake.
Instead Atletico Madrid will be without him, and while they will no doubt sign a replacement, it won’t be the player who starred as they won La Liga last season.
Trippier won’t face United with Newcastle either, with both matches against the Toon Army now completed. When the two teams next face off, it will be next season, and there will be a new permanent manager in the Red Devils dugout.
- Some Manchester United fans react to Anthony Martial's performance
- Paul Pogba reacts to Manchester United's 1-0 win over West Ham
- Photo: Anthony Martial pictured embracing Ralf Rangnick after Manchester United beat West Ham
- 'Absolutely incredible'… Some Manchester United fans react to star's display v West Ham
- 'This is Manchester United'…Defender with 4 tackles and 2 key passes celebrates vital win
- Cristiano Ronaldo sends message to Manchester United fans after dramatic 1-0 win
- Gary Neville and Marcus Rashford react to Manchester United's late winner vs West Ham
- Rio Ferdinand's instant reaction as Manchester United beat West Ham 1-0