Sunderland old boy Sebastian Larsson is set to sign for Hull City after being released from the Stadium of Light at the end of last season.
And according to reports in Spain, the 32-year-old was on the verge of putting pen to paper and agreeing a one year deal with La Liga side Levante before the Tigers swooped in to snatch him on Sunday morning.
The report in Spanish newspaper Superdeporte claims Larsson arrived in Valencia - the city in which Levante are based - on Friday night accompanied by his wife and his agent and proceeded to pass a medical.
With that navigated successfully, the formality of signing on the dotted line was all that remained before being unveiled in the red, blue and burgundy colours of Levante.
But no sooner had Larsson and his entourage arrived, than they departed the hotel in which they were based without warning on Sunday, leaving his suitors stunned.
The lure of Humberside clearly proved too appealing to the Swedish midfielder who spent six years at Sunderland.
Hull got their Championship campaign underway at the weekend with a draw at Villa Park to hand new manager Leonid Slutsky his first point in English football. And that performance, which earned the Tigers credit after a summer filled with doubts over their ability to regroup following last season’s relegation, may even have swayed Larsson’s decision to abandon his move to Spain in favour of Hull.
The Swedish international was thought to have been offered a new deal at Sunderland but declined the invitation to add to his 200-plus appearances during six seasons at the Stadium of Light.
Amidst supposed offers from back home in Sweden as well as from clubs in Turkey, Italy, Scotland and England, Larsson is likely to be unveiled at Hull ahead of Saturday’s league encounter with Burton Albion on Saturday.
Larsson featured 21 times in the Premier League last season for Sunderland. He returned to the side in December following knee surgery after Euro 2016 and he will be aiming to cement his place in the Swedish squad which looks to be bound for the World Cup in Russia next year.
Larsson remains well thought of on Wearside for his endeavours as one of the few long-serving players in the recent years though few Sunderland fans will be particularly rueful that he did not stay on for this season.
With both club and player in need of a change, the Black Cats midfield which is being gradually rebuilt already shows signs of upgrade on the fading Swede.
But we won’t have to wait too long to see him again. Sunderland travel to Hull City for a Championship fixture in just five weeks time - on the 16th of September.