Birmingham City's already depleted squad became even smaller last night as Rowan Vine ended his frustrating year at St Andrew's and moved to Queens Park Rangers.
The 25-year-old is the second player to leave this week after Australian Neil Kilkenny joined Leeds United on Monday.
Neither man was able to force their way into the Birmingham first team and manager Alex McLeish felt their real value to Blues lay in the transfer fee they would attract.
Vine, who cost £2.5 million when he arrived from Luton Town last January, has cost QPR - reputed to be one of the richest clubs in the world following a recent takeover - just £1 million.
It makes good sense for both player and club, however. The forward scored just once in the 19 games he played for Blues and has been at Loftus Road on loan since early October.
He has done reasonably well for McLeish's counterpart Luigi De Canio as part of a team that has lifted the Londoners off the bottom of the Championship table and out of the relegation zone.
McLeish will use the proceeds to develop his resources and strengthen a squad that with two players at the African Cup of Nations is now six men lighter than at the start of the campaign.
The Scot has already started looking for new recruits and has already made bids for Hibernian defender David Murphy and Everton's James McFadden.
Unfortunately for him a £2.5 million offer for McFadden has been rejected because Goodison manager David Moyes is anxious to keep together the players who have presided over one of the club's most successful seasons for decades.
McFadden has not been a regular starter for Moyes, he has begun just four Premier League matches this term but has played well when he has been summoned from the bench.
He could be attracted by the prospect of rekindling his working relationship with McLeish, however. The 24-year-old was a crucial part of the Scotland team that McLeish nearly guided to Euro 2008.
The interest in Murphy remains a going concern. Although Blues have not offered enough for the Easter Road side to accept around £1 million set against a valuation double that figure there is every likelihood they will have to sell the English left back with several larger suitors closing. Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers are both interested in the 23-year-old and Birmingham's nemesis, Steve Bruce's Wigan Athletic, are also interested.
One player who won't make it at St Andrew's is Sam Oji who Blues released yesterday and who signed a deal with League One Leyton Orient until the end of the season.
There is also worrying speculation Premierships rivals Sunderland have made an approach for joint leading scorer Olivier Kapo who has struggled to make his presence felt during McLeish's reign.
The Frenchman, signed from Juventus in the summer, has made just three substitute appearances since early December and has been hampered by injury.
Compatriot Franck Queuedrue claims he is not going anywhere, though. The former Middlesbrough and Fulham defender has just broken into McLeish's team and said yesterday he was happy to stay at St Andrew's.
"I [have] played since the new manager arrived, I don't know what he plans to do, if he wants to sign new players, but I am happy and comfortable here, and I am hopeful he relies on me," he said.