Rotherham United walked away from negotiations with transfer target Scott Allan because boss Steve Evans refused to break one of his sacred rules.
The Millers were willing to pay more than £400,000 for the Hibernian midfield man before he decided he didn’t fancy a move from Scotland.
Evans only ever wants players who are proud to play for his side and, rather than try to keep tempting the 23-year-old, chose to end his interest there and then.
“I don’t care whether you’re Scott Allan or Lionel Messi, if you don’t want to come to Rotherham United, we don’t want you to come,” he said.
“I spoke to his representatives and they made it clear that young Scott, with a young baby on the scene, wanted to stay in Scotland.
“It wasn’t a case of Rotherham, he just didn’t want to come to England. We were at a certain value, certainly in excess of £400,000 to bring the young lad here, but we have to move on and we will do.”
The Millers still hope to tie up a loan deal for a young player from the Premier League next week, but recruitment is on hold while they focus on tomorrow’s MK Dons clash on Championship opening day.
Evans says he knows his starting line-up, and the Rotherham manager confirmed: “There will be no signings before the weekend.
“Even if Messi walked through the door he’d be on the bench.”
Evans is relishing tomorrow’s match, while there is a real air of anticipation among supporters who have been delighted by the quality of the new arrivals.
“They’re quite rightfully excited because they’ve seen some of the players we’ve got and seen some of the per-formances in pre-season,” he said.
“It’s Christmas Eve on Friday and Christmas Day when everyone wakes up on Saturday morning.”