Chester FC and Macclesfield Town have today confirmed that there have never actually been negotiations over the transfer of striker Ben Mills, and that the last few days have just been "pranky japes".
With Chester fans on tenterhooks as to whether or not the forward will continue his spell at the club, officials of both teams have finally admitted that no deal has been discussed.
"Nah, haven't gotten round to it," shrugged Blues boss Neil Young. "Everyone's been pretty excited though, so we figured we'd see how long we could string 'em along."
Earlier in the week, Young intensified expectations by announcing that he had set a deadline for the signing. That deadline passed at 9am yesterday, and still nothing has been heard.
"I thought if I put a timescale on things, it'd make things that bit more exciting," he giggled. "Apparently people missed work to sit on Devachat yesterday. And it's still going on today! Absolutely amazin', lad - even if I do say so myself."
Macclesfield manager Steve King joined in the hilarity when Young invited him to come along to the Halifax clash at the Exacta last week.
"Youngy called me up and told me he was embroiled in a RIGHT prank on his own fans and asked if I wanted to get involved," explained King. "I was on board straight away. The man is a visionary, make no mistake. We've had a right chuckle."
"Whilst I was there, Youngy suggested we actually talk about Ben moving to Chester. There was an awkward silence for a second then we both ripped up laughing. Top night, actually, cheers for the hospitality."
Young now accepts that the joke has a limited shelf-life with Mills due to play his last game for the club on Saturday, and is already thinking about his next epic practical joke.
"Reckon anyone would buy it if I said we were gonna re-sign Jamie Rainford for twice what we paid for him before?"