Monday at 11.30, we were all told, was the hard deadline for Jamie Vardy to make his final decision: would he stay with Premier League Champions Leicester City or move to new pastures at Arsenal.
Monday came and went without a conclusion to this summer's first big transfer saga. If England manager Roy Hodgson gets his way, so will the rest of June. Reports today have suggested that Hodgson would prefer players to drop transfer concerns to focus on the tournament at hand and that Leicester man Vardy, possibly fearing his place in the side, is likely to agree to this. The striker already missed a friendly to attend his wedding last month.
While it answers ultimately nothing, this can only be good news for Leicester fans. The earliest reports had made the deal sound like a formality, all but signed. In response to what can only be described as an absurd overreaction from their fans, the Foxes odds for relegation were cut to as low as 25/1 after the story first broke.
While I feel comfortable asserting that the title holders will not be relegated even if they lose Vardy, Mahrez and Kanté, their three superstars from the past season, even just a delay in this deal could be a big gain for Leicester. All three will have at least some thought of leaving. An early departure of one will only push the others closer to the door. The longer the club can hold off, the more likely they are to keep hold of some of their stars.
If England were to be eliminated at the earliest opportunity, June 20th, that might not make much difference. The redesign of the tournament, however, makes that very unlikely. The Three Lions are likely to hold out until July. Possibly even the final on July 10. If Vardy is still a Leicester player then, the others are more likely to be as well.
Equally, if Mahrez and Kanté are still around by then, Vardy is surely more likely to trust that further success can be had. Times football writer Rory Smith has already stated that the longer this goes on, the more likely we are to retain the 24-goal forward. Arsenal as well may be tempted to go in search of others targets while they wait. The deal remains on the table for now, but that doesn't mean it always will be.
Stay patient then, is the message. It's a big delay, and I'm sure we'd all rather know what's going on, but ultimately, this is a wait that probably benefits Leicester City, whatever the eventual result may be.
Patience may also be required if the talismanic frontman needs to be replaced. Leicester and Tottenham Hotspur target Islam Slimani has a release clause worth €30 million and reports today claim that his club, Sporting Lisbon, will not take a penny less. Neither club seems willing to match that price, so this won't be a quick story either.
Stay calm everyone, there's only 85 days of transfer season left.