Stoke have failed in an attempt to sign new Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku on loan due to Premier League rules.
The move fell foul of the rule-book, which forbids a player being lent to another top-flight side during the same transfer window that he joined his parent club.
But it is also unclear whether Chelsea or Lukaku would have been open to a loan move, with the 18-year-old specifically saying before joining his boyhood idols that he did not want to be farmed out.
Premier League Rule M.7.1 reads: "A Temporary Transfer to a Club may not take place in the Transfer Window in which the Transferor Club acquired the Player's registration."
Lukaku completed his protracted move from Anderlecht to Chelsea almost two weeks ago for a fee that could reportedly rise to £20million.
He made his Blues debut as a substitute in Saturday's 3-1 win over Norwich, although he faces a fight for a starting spot at Stamford Bridge, with Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda, Daniel Sturridge and Salomon Kalou among Andre Villas-Boas' other striking options.