Motherwell have been forced to admit defeat in their bid to sign on-loan Liam Grimshaw after the Manchester United midfielder was recalled to Old Trafford.
The 20-year-old is now expected to be sold on to another club in England.
It is a blow for Well boss Mark McGhee, who had been determined to sign the Red Devils youngster on a permanent deal after impressing in his 16 outings for the Steelmen.
McGhee said: “We’ve held numerous very positive talks with both Liam and his representatives about the possibility of him becoming a Motherwell player.
“So much so, our plan was to try and finalise an agreement with Manchester United this week.
“However, we have been gazumped at the last minute by an English club who offered a package that we simply cannot compete with.
“Whilst that is frustrating, we completely understand everyone’s position.
“We are naturally disappointed to be losing him, but at the same time, proud of him that he’s earned such a good move and wish him every success.
“We prepare for every eventuality so have other irons in the fire which we will now explore.”