Liam Lawrence's proposed move to Portsmouth from Stoke has hit the buffers. The Republic of Ireland international appeared to be on his way to Fratton Park as part of the deal which took Marc Wilson in the opposite direction.
However, the agreement has not yet been approved by the Football League and Lawrence is uncertain as to where his future now lies.
League chiefs are yet to be convinced that the necessary documentation was completed before their 6pm deadline.
Club administrator Andrew Andronikou is confident the matter will be resolved, but admits the club will move to land Lawrence on loan should a permanent deal fall through.
He told The News: '"The Lawrence deal has not been ratified by the Football League yet and we are still waiting to hear the outcome.
"Unfortunately, we are not Tottenham and are not allowed to have this issue sorted the next day as they did with Rafael van der Vaart. "This sort of thing will only happen to us. There is proper brinkmanship going on just because we are Portsmouth Football Club.
"The whole world knew two weeks before that we wanted this deal to happen. Unfortunately, they have been finding ways of making things difficult to actually push it through.
"From our end, all documentation was sent on time, well before the 6pm deadline. I was there myself to see it.
"Admittedly, the deal happened a little later than we would have liked as the player was training with the Republic of Ireland squad. We haven't even had a chance to give him a medical yet. But it was sorted before 6pm, I can tell you.
"The authorities also reckon the Tommy Smith deal to QPR was completed at 6.02pm or something like that. This puts more work on us but we are determined to see it through, even if we have to get the player on loan instead."