After that brief diversion that was the World Cup, we are all once again free to revel in what the summer is really for: long, drawn-out transfer sagas.
This year's close-season speculation inevitably centred on Arsenal captain and Spain super-sub Cesc Fabregas's mooted move to Barcelona.
Gerard Pique and Xavi had already made their wishes known before the tournament had even kicked off that they wanted Cesc to rejoin his hometown club. Pique and Carles Puyol then decided it wouldn't be in any way awkward for the Gunners midfielder or breaking inter-club protocol to force a Barcelona shirt on to him during their victory celebrations.
No doubt the same pesky Catalans were also responsible for that beard he was sporting and his general increased swarthiness during the tournament, in a bid to make him look more Spanish. Can FIFA not do anything about this? It must be tapping up, or inducement, or something?
And now Lionel Messi has expressed his hopes that his boyhood pal would make the switch to the Nou Camp.
Messi said: "I would be delighted if he came. We played together as kids (in Barca's youth team) and he knows the club."
Worryingly for Arsenal fans, Arsene Wenger inadvertently backed up the reason why Barca want Cesc back so much when he spoke ahead of the Champions League clash between the two sides in March.
Wenger said at the time, when asked to compare Messi and Fabregas: "What is interesting is that they played together in the youth team. When I spoke with Fabregas's mother, when she brought him here at the age of 16 she said always when they came home they won 6, 7, 8, 9-0 because always they had in the same team, Pique, Messi, Fabregas. You are not surprised."
Just as with Cristiano Ronaldo's protracted move from Manchester United to Real Madrid last year, the Fabregas saga will be a real acid test of the waning power of the Premier League.
Fabregas enjoyed arguably his best season to date in an Arsenal shirt, and walked into the PFA team of the year. If he were to leave, it would be another blow for the pulling power of English football.
The biggest transfers in and out of the Premier League look set to be World Cup bench-warmers for the same side. With David Silva (one start, one substitute appearance, 94 minutes total playing time) signed and sealed as a Manchester City player on a reported £160,000 a week, Fabregas (no starts, four sub appearances) causing such a storm by potentially moving the other way doesn't, on the face of it, indicate manoeuvres in and out of the best league in the world.
Of course, any talk about the demise of the Premier League can't help but be a partially knee-jerk reaction to England's woeful tournament display, but that has helped contributed to a perfect storm of high taxes, curtailed spending power, financial struggles, fan apathy and a resurgent Bundesliga that all point to worrying times for the league.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Some people might think I am going to go there for a vacation - I do actually go there for vacation - but it won't be for vacation this time." - Thierry Henry doth protest too much after sealing his move to MLS side New York Red Bulls.
COMING UP: It's Stage 11 of the Tour de France today. Follow the 184.5km ride from Sisteron to Bourg-les-Valence via our live text commentary and peloton tracker, or watch on British Eurosport or via the Eurosport Player. So no excuses really.
And it's the first day of The Open at St Andrews. You can follow live commentary of every swing, slice and shank right here, right now.