Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce has confirmed he blocked an attempt by Brighton & Hove Albion to sign defender Marcos Painter on loan.
Painter is tipped for a bright future with Birmingham having signed a new three-year deal over the summer.
The League One outfit were keen to sign the 20-year-old on a short-term deal to strengthen their backline.
However, with Blues short of cover in defence as well, Bruce has decided to keep the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international at St Andrews.
Bruce is keen to allow the youngster to gain first-team experience but says the time is not right to allow him to leave.
"Brighton wanted Marcos, and I do need to get him out playing football," Bruce told the Birmingham Mail.
"But, with the problem we have got down the left-hand side at the moment, I couldn't let him leave."
Painter played at left back in the Carling Cup win over Wrexham in midweek and could keep his place in the side for the trip to Leeds on Saturday.