Preston North End boss Alan Irvine is preparing to turn his attentions elsewhere after missing out on Lee Williamson.
The Lilywhites had seen an offer for the midfielder accepted by Watford and felt they were in pole position to land the 27-year-old.
With Williamson having enjoyed a successful loan spell at Deepdale last season, a return to Lancashire seemed inevitable.
However, Sheffield United then stepped in and the former Hornets ace was on his way to Bramall Lane.
Irvine is disappointed to have failed in his efforts to land Williamson, but understands the motives behind the snub.
"Lee was someone who impressed us during his loan spell and we agreed a fee with Watford as he was someone we would have liked to bring to the club," he told Preston's official website.
"We spoke to Lee and he said he enjoyed his time with us, but he is able to travel from his family home every day to training with Sheffield United and does not have to move, which has been a major factor in his decision."
Preston chairman Derek Shaw added: "We had agreed a price with Watford and had hoped he would be joining us, but instead he has chosen Sheffield United. However, we will move on and look to other targets."