For all the talk from European sources earlier in the summer about a potential move for Canada star Jonathan David this summer, it seems the 23-year-old is staying at Lille.

Lille value their star too highly, and interest has simply been too lukewarm.

But, on the eve of Friday’s European summer transfer deadline, there was one potential sliding doors moment that could have changed David’s path.

According to CBS Sports reporter James Benge, AC Milan made a late attempt to sign David on loan on Thursday night but were swiftly rejected by Lille. Benge reports the Rossoneri saw the former Gent man as the ideal complement to Olivier Giroud and Noah Okafor.

However, Lille were only willing to consider a permanent deal for a large fee. David himself was also reluctant to make a temporary move in what is a big year for him as he looks to build on the best season of his career in 2022-23. David is happy at Lille for now, adds Benge, and the club are very happy with his performances to start this season, which have yielded three goals and an assist from his first five games.

The most recent of those goals was the vital extra-time strike on Thursday that booked Lille’s spot in the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage, is now set to stay in French Flanders.

A move for David before Friday night’s deadline would now be a big surprise.

He has less than two years left on his contract with Lille and has no intention currently to renew his deal, adds Benge. A move in January should not be ruled out, and a move by next summer at the latest, when he will be cheaper than he would have been this summer by virtue of entering the last year of his deal, seems inevitable.