Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has lamented the collapse of a deadline day deal that would have seen striker Oumar Niasse join the club, insisting that the Everton outcast would have brought "something special" to Selhurst Park.
Reports on Thursday afternoon (31 August) claimed that a £7m ($9m) fee had been agreed between the two clubs for a permanent transfer, with struggling Palace seemingly beating off competition from the likes of Marco Silva's Watford and fierce rivals Brighton & Hove Albion.
However, such a deal, like many on a day that typically did not live up to its lofty billing, never came to fruition and the Eagles had to make do with only securing the £26m return of popular former Liverpool loanee Mamadou Sakho.
"I know we had one deal fall through from Everton. (It didn't happen) for various reasons I don't want to go in to really, it was a difficult one for lots of different reasons," Parish was quoted as saying by the Croydon Advertiser.
"It was a shame as he is a player we really liked, he's very Palace and could have given us something special. But it wasn't meant to be, we'll soldier on and we got the main target we wanted (Sakho)."
While Parish refused to expand on the exact reasons behind Niasse's move falling through at the 11th hour, The Mail report that Palace, who were granted a two-hour post-deadline extension to complete all the necessary paperwork after submitting a deal sheet before 23.00 BST, could not agree a fee with the player's agent.
Niasse has made just seven appearances for Everton since being recruited from Lokomotiv Moscow by Roberto Martinez in a £13.5m deal back in January 2016 and was quickly informed by Ronald Koeman that he had no future at the club. The Senegalese international later proved his worth during a relatively productive loan stint at Hull City, where he netted five times in 19 outings before the Tigers were relegated from the Premier League.
Niasse, who will join injured playmaker Ross Barkley in returning to Merseyside, would have bolstered an under-strength Palace attack that have yet to score a single goal during a truly miserable start to Frank de Boer's tenure in south London.
The chances of the 27-year-old establishing himself at Goodison Park under Koeman appear very slim, despite Everton's disappointing failure to add an all-important central striker to their otherwise impressive and expensive nine-strong summer transfer haul before the window closed.
The Toffees' only deadline day capture saw teenage Croatian forward Nikola Vlasic arrive in a £10m deal from Europa League play-off round opponents Hajduk Split.