Burton Albion defender Guy Branston has seen his move to League Two rivals Torquay United stall.
United boss Paul Buckle has been looking to tie up a deal for the 31-year-old after the centre-half spent time on loan at Plainmoor during the last campaign.
But attempts to pen a permanent move for the widely-travelled stopper have proved unsuccessful as Burton remain determined to hold onto the player's services.
The news will come as a set-back to the Gulls and chief Buckle told the Herald Express: "We thought the deal was done.
"But the situation now is that we have put an offer to Burton, and at the moment the answer is 'no'.
"Another club may have come in for Guy, but he wants to come back to us."
Branston joined the Devon club in January on loan until the end of the season and impressed with solid displays as Buckle's side secured their Football League status.
But Albion manager Paul Peschisolido has so far resisted overtures from the South West outfit - insisting the defender would see out the remainder of his deal at the Pirelli Stadium.
"I have spoken to Paul Buckle and told him the situation from our point of view. As far as I'm concerned, Guy is our player until the end of the season," said Peschisolido.
"To be fair to Guy, he's come back fit and his attitude has been superb thus far into pre-season."