It was a chase that began 97 days ago and it went down to the final few hours.
But Rotherham beat the loan deadline and finally got their man as Richie Towell rejoined the club from Brighton on a season-long loan.
From the moment Towell helped the Millers to League One play-off glory at the end of May, boss Paul Warne made it clear that he wanted to bring the Irishman back to the club.
But even Warne, who is Mr Cautious when it comes to expecting transfers to come off, could never envisaged just how problematic this one would be.
There were several obstacles along the way, not least Towell's wages, but with just four hours of the loan window remaining, the two clubs finally came to an agreement that sealed his AESSEAL New York Stadium return.
With the 27-year-old's contract expiring in the summer, this move effectively ends his Brighton career and it mirrors his original arrival, as it comes one year to the day since he joined on August 31 2017.
That deal pushed the deadline even closer, but it worked out well as Towell went on to be a key player in the club's promotion campaign.
He made 45 appearances and won the club's goal of the season award for his effort at Northampton.
Warne was not the only one pushing for a reunion as Towell, who kept in regular contact with the Millers boss, always had a return in mind.
He said: "I am delighted to be back, it has taken a bit longer than I would like to have got sorted, but I am back now and I am over the moon.
"I spoke to the gaffer most days, he has been great with me. I have wanted to come back and I am delighted to be back.
"I just loved it here, since my first game for Rotherham I scored the winner in the last minute and since then it was an unbelievable season from there.
"There was only one place I wanted to be."
Towell might feature at Wigan on Saturday after Rotherham squeezed the deal through in time and he could be joined in the matchday squad by Joe Mattock.
The left-back pulled out of Wednesday's Carabao Cup defeat at Everton in the warm-up due to a dead leg but he is expected to be fit.