Pompey had moved quickly to sound him out following his promotion track record with Barnsley and obvious availability following his Hearts departure.
It wasn’t meant to be, though, despite his one-time assistant, Dale Tonge, admitting he’d ‘walk to Fratton Park’.
Cowley has since been made permanent head coach of Pompey and tasked with overhauling a squad that ended up finishing eighth in the table.
And it now appears that German Stendel has also finally nailed down his next managerial posting – at AS Nancy.
The French Ligue 2 side had been linked with the 47-year-old when news broke of the Blues’ interest in him.
The club are co-owned by Barnsley stakeholder Chien Lee, while their president is Gauthier Ganaye – the former Tykes chief executive who appointed Stendel at Oakwell in 2018.
It was thought at the time that the former Pompey target preferred a move back to England, after spending lockdown in Hannover.
However, as Cowley and the Blues map out the road ahead for a new era at Fratton Park, so too his Stendel – only his remit centres on the Stade Marcel Picot in Tomblaine.
‘After a one-year break, I wanted to start working again,’ Stendel told the Edinburgh Evening News.
‘I had some calls from England but it was not right.
‘I decided on Nancy, a new project with a good club’