Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has accepted defeat in his attempts to bring Liverpool's Marko Grujic back on loan.
Grujic spent the second half of last season at Cardiff and featured 13 times in the Championship as the Welsh side secured promotion to the Premier League.
Warnock's desire to seal a return to the club for the Serbian has never been a secret, with the veteran boss openly declaring interest earlier in the transfer window.
But due to a "contract issue", Warnock looks set to lose out on the 22-year-old, who he believes will be staying at Liverpool.
"Grujic looks like he will stay put," Warnock told reporters.
"I think he would be better off here, but it is a contract issue. I understand his point of view.
"Liverpool have four competitions before Christmas and he can play in those without being named in the 25-man squad.
"I have missed out on a couple of targets waiting for him. It is disappointing as everything was agreed with Liverpool - but sometimes fate intervenes.
"We need a couple of midfielders and a striker. We are really short in midfield."