Pajtim Kasami was all set to swap Fulham for Pescara on deadline day, but failed to get the relevant paperwork processed in time.
The Switzerland U21 international has failed to make the expected impact at Craven Cottage.
Since arriving in England back in July 2011, he has been restricted to sporadic first-team outings.
Fulham were prepared to let him return to Italy on Thursday - having snapped him up from Palermo - but the transfer documents arrived at Italian league offices 13 minutes after the window had closed.
"We have been told that the documentation arrived late," said Pescara chief executive Danilo Iannascoli.
"There has been a fax exchange with the English side, but the League answer has been negative.
"We believed that, with this being a foreign transfer, things could be done differently.
"We are disappointed because we had high hopes for this purchase."
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