Malaury Martin has been unable to agree terms to stay at Barnsley despite impressing boss Keith Hill on his week-long trial.
The 23-year-old is a free agent this summer after his one-year deal at Middlesbrough ran out at the end of last season.
The dead ball specialist, who started his career at Monaco, also played in the Championship for Blackpool.
But any return to the second tier is on hold after Hill revealed he was unable to thrash out a deal and will instead continue to search for suitable players to bolster his squad.
"We were poles apart unfortunately when it came to signing Malaury," Hill told the Sheffield Star. "He's gone back to France, but I was reasonably happy with him.
"I'd have liked to have kept him because he's got good pedigree, but there was a certain element of risk - and that risk was too big in the end.
"I've got four more trialists in this week so it will be good to have a look at them."