Jose Mourinho was blocked from signing Willian for Manchester United by club directors.
Mourinho had pushed to be reunited with the Chelsea midfielder, who had openly declared this week he wanted to again work with his former Blues manager.
But the Manchester Evening News says because of Anthony Martial, United refused to test the waters.
Mourinho was open to swapping Martial, who he does not trust, with Chelsea to secure Willian's signature.
But the United hierarchy, mindful of losing a 22-year-old with lots of potential, overrode him.
Instead, Mourinho will now have to try and mount a title challenge with the current squad at his disposal.