The January transfer window closes tonight with players, managers and clubs hoping nothing will scupper their late business.
However, there are a multitude of issues that can arise which can derail potential transfers, as Jim McInally knows only too well.
A career low point as Dons move fell through
Twenty five years ago today, the now-Peterhead manager thought he had signed for Aberdeen.
The midfielder had fallen out of favour at Raith Rovers and the Dons moved to bring him to the Granite City in a swap deal for Peter Hetherston.
Everything seemed to be going according to plan, the deal was agreed, with McInally paraded at a press conference at Pittodrie alongside Reds boss Roy Aitken.
He was preparing to face Cove Rangers in a friendly on the evening of January 31 1996 when news came through that Hetherston had failed his medical at Stark’s Park and the transfer was off.
A quarter of a century on, McInally still regards it as the low point of his playing career.
The former Nottingham Forest, Dundee United and Scotland player said: “That was the low point in my playing career, because I had nothing to do with it.
“If you lose a cup final, you think back on what you could have done differently and things like that.
“But there wasn’t anything I could have done about that, I was helpless, it shows how transfers can go wrong.
“I think the worst thing about it was that it had gone so far. I remember Teddy Scott getting me to sign a strip.
“I’d always had a good relationship with Teddy when playing against Aberdeen with Dundee United and I remembering being back at Pittodrie about two years after and he still had the strip.
“We did a press conference as well, so when all that had happened it was hard to take when the deal was off.
“I’d signed and it was all done as far as we were concerned, I didn’t know what was happening elsewhere in the world at the time.”
Chance to come to Aberdeen would have been brilliant
Having fallen out with Raith Rovers manager Jimmy Nicholl, McInally was relishing the prospect of a move to Aberdeen, who had won the League Cup under Aitken two months before.
He added: “At the time my relationship with Jimmy Nicholl at Raith Rovers didn’t really exist.
“So to get the chance to go to work at a big club like Aberdeen with people like Roy Aitken, Tommy Craig and Stuart Hogg would have been brilliant.
“For it to be taken away as a result of something that was out of my control was very tough to take.
“I remember the journey back down the road that day. I’d been up in Aberdeen at a hotel because we were going to be playing a friendly against Cove that night.
“I’d been out with food poisoning for a wee while beforehand and I was just getting back on my feet again.
“So to go back down the road knowing the deal was finished and going back to a club where I’d fallen out with the manager and I’d no chance of playing was a bit of a low time in my career.”
Once the swap deal for Hetherston was off, McInally says Aberdeen were no longer in a position to sign him.
He said: “I wasn’t going to be a free transfer, Aberdeen would have needed to have bought me from Raith.
“So as soon as the swap deal fell through that was the end of it because Aberdeen weren’t going to buy me, so I knew there was no going back and I knew Peter Hetherston’s medical wasn’t going to get any better a week later or whatever.”