With the transfer window closing tonight players across Scottish football will be trying to sort out a move for themselves as the deadline looms.
To many observers a transfer may seem a relatively straightforward process – once a club wants you and the club you are at is happy to let you go, then that should be it.
Not necessarily. In January 1996, Aberdeen missed out on the capture of Jim McInally in extraordinary circumstances.
The former Dundee United midfielder had fallen out of favour at Raith Rovers and a move to Pittodrie had been proposed.
The Dons had offered the Kirkcaldy club former Stark’s Park midfielder Peter Hetherston in a straight swap for McInally.
Everything seemed to be going according to plan, with McInally paraded at a Pittodrie press conference on January 31 1996.
However, later in the day it emerged Hetherston had failed his medical at Raith and the deal was off.
McInally, now manager of Peterhead, said: “I had fallen out with Jimmy Nicholl, who was Raith manager, and there was really no way back for our relationship.
“He was taking the players away the week before Christmas to Magaluf but I refused to go.
“I didn’t want to leave my two young kids because at that age Christmas week was a special week for the family.
“When I refused to go that was me and Jimmy finished and he was desperate to get Peter Hetherston back at Raith because he was a hero at the club.
“It was a dream come true for me really because it would have brilliant to go to a club of Aberdeen’s stature at that stage of my career.
“To say it was long drive back down the road after that was an understatement – I was gutted.”
In the 1995-96 season, Aberdeen were enjoying a good campaign under Roy Aitken’s management.
They had lifted the League Cup in November and would end up finishing third in the Premier Division.
For McInally, to this day there remains a sense of “what might have been?” over his move to the Granite City.
He added: “It was a massive low for me what happened.
“I hadn’t been in a situation before like I was with Jimmy at Raith and with the move not happening it felt like the rug was pulled from underneath me.
“Going up to Aberdeen gave me a real lift and I remember being paraded at Pittodrie and doing the press conference.
“Then I was supposed to play Cove Rangers in a friendly that night at Allan Park.
“I was taken to a guest house and went for a sleep in the afternoon to prepare for the game.
“Then I got a phone call from Roy Aitken saying Peter had failed his medical, so it was a disaster.
“I was preparing to play the friendly that night and everything was fine at my end.
“So for the move not to happen was a massive let-down.
“It shows how things can go wrong with transfers and for me it would have been brilliant to play for a club like Aberdeen.
“I was 31 at the time, so I was maybe past my best, but I was still fit.
“Something like that hadn’t happened to me until near the end of my career and at that time there wasn’t transfer windows either, but the move still couldn’t be resurrected.
“Now it must be a nightmare for players if the window is coming closer to shutting and you can’t move and then are left in a situation knowing you’re not going to play.
“It was a brilliant for me that day when I thought I would join Aberdeen.”