Never rule out anything in football. It looked like everything had broken down between Fiorentina and Adrian Mutu. The two sides had filed for divorce over irreconcilable differences. End of story.
Or so we thought.
Now there seem to be the first hints that club and player might yet patch things up. He has parted company with controversial agent Victor Becali in a move seemingly designed to smooth some ruffled feathers. The noises from both sides tend to suggest a softening in their hard line approach.
It would be the ultimate footballing marriage of convenience if they did end up together again. Fiorentina desperately need someone to ease the goalscoring burden on Alberto Gilardino. The Romanian, for his part, must rehabilitate himself somehow if he is still to have a playing career.
But what message would Fiorentina be sending out if they did take him back? It seemed that they were taking a justifiable stance on a player who walked out on training with his team-mates. Any change of that smacks of an embarrassing U-turn.
His behaviour has either been unacceptable or it has not - that seems pretty straightforward. The Viola either want a player who has acted this way or they do not. What part of that is open to interpretation?
Yet this is Italy, the land of compromise and backroom deals. Has the thought of seeing Mutu in another club’s colours spooked the powers that be in Florence? Has he realised that the Viola won’t let him go elsewhere and he needs to do some serious apologising?
Whatever the reasons, it seems like a grubby little arrangement. There was a chance there to do things a little differently and say there were some things the club would not tolerate. Instead, they could be sending out the signal that their desperate need for results will override everything else.
It has not happened yet, of course, but the first indications are there that it still might happen. Having failed to deliver much in the transfer window, is this what Fiorentina fans will be asked to swallow? Some might welcome him back with open arms but, for others, seeing him in a purple shirt again would be particularly unpleasing on the eye.