Fernando Gago may have to see out the remainder of his contract with Real Madrid after seeing his proposed transfer to Roma collapse.
The Argentina international spent last season on loan at the Stadio Olimpico and was expected to seal a permanent move to the Italian capital last month, but the two clubs failed to reach an agreement before the June 1 deadline.
With Roma having refused to hand over €7 million for Gago, the midfielder, who is currently away on international duty, is now scheduled to return to Madrid for pre-season training on July 15.
That is reportedly an unappealing prospect for both the player and the club. Indeed, as Gago's agent told Goal.com, the 26-year-old has no desire ever to play for coach Jose Mourinho again.
However, according to Mundo Deportivo, the Madrid boss does not want the former Boca Juniors man back, and has already instructed his employers to offload Gago along with Kaka, Hamit Altintop and Ricardo Carvalho this summer.
The paper claims, though, that unless the Spanish champions can find a buyer, Gago could end up staying at the Santiago Bernabeu until his contract expires.
While he is unlikely to see any game time under Mourinho, the player would at least be able to leave on a free next summer and would therefore be in control of his own destiny.
Gago joined Madrid from Boca in 2007 but was restricted to the role of a bit-part player following the arrival of Mourinho as boss two years ago.