QPR will play the waiting game over Ben Watson - and eventually laugh all the way to the bank.
Renewed speculation over the weekend predicted Rangers would splash out £2m for the Crystal Palace midfielder, who turned down a late bid from Nottingham Forest, having set his heart on a move across London to Loftus Road.
But Rangers were never going to pay over the odds for a player they hope to get in January for a knockdown fee or next summer for nothing - providing they wait until July 9.
On that day, the former England U21 player turns 24, and Palace will lose the right to ask a Football League tribunal to decide any kind of payment.
Eagles' chairman Simon Jordan was unwilling to do business with Rangers before the transfer window closed on Monday night because of Rs boss Iain Dowie.
The discontent between the two runs deep after Jordan took his former Palace manager to the High Court last year over Dowie's defection to fierce rivals Charlton in 2006.
But current Palace manager Neil Warnock has already resigned himself to losing Watson, especially as he now has a disgruntled player on his hands.
He said: "Ben and his agent have made it clear he wants to go to QPR so I don't know where that leaves us."
Rangers may need to go back in January, depending on injuries and suspensions for Watson - but even then they have no intention of offering more than £500,000 to reunite him with his former manager at Selhurst Park.
A QPR source said: "It's possible Rangers could get by without needing any more midfielders.
"After all, there are eight at the moment - and the club only need four at a time."
Meanwhile the deal that took Frazier Campbell to Spurs on Monday scuppered a planned Rangers move to borrow the Manchester United striker.
Rs have now re-ignited their interest in Ched Evans at rivals Manchester City to beef up their forward line.
Hoops will wait until City boss Mark Hughes gets a clean bill of health from his front line strikers before allowing the Wales international out on loan to QPR.