Hibernian defender Souleymane Bamba claims an international call-up scuppered his chances of a summer move to Blackburn Rovers.
Bamba had reportedly been watched by Rovers boss Sam Allardyce prior to the close of the transfer window in September and had been lined up for a switch to Ewood Park.
However, the 24-year-old says his inclusion in the Ivory Coast squad for a 2010 World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso prevented the transfer being completed.
The powerful stopper insists he is happy at Hibernian and is focused on securing a place in Ivory Coast's squad for the World Cup finals.
"It is true I was supposed to sign for Blackburn Rovers, but I was called up for a World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso as an emergency," said Bamba.
"The mercato is finished, so nothing can be done now until January.
"With my performances, the fans and the media think that I am not going to be in the SPL for a long time, that I deserve to be in a bigger league.
"But me, I am fine here in Hibernian and I am continuing with the hard work to reach the top level.
"I am very happy because now I am playing for my country and, for a young player to be part of that group, it is fantastic.
"I am looking forward to the African Nations Cup where we are the favourites, and the World Cup, where we might be the surprise team. Hopefully 2010 will be our year."
Samba has made 40 appearances for Hibs since joining from Dunfermline Athletic last year and is under contract at Easter Road until 2011.