Leeds United will attempt to find another loan for Mike Grella this week after the collapse of his transfer to Scottish Premier League club Motherwell.
Motherwell announced his signing on a half-season deal on Thursday afternoon but they cancelled the agreement less than 24 hours later due to a technicality in FIFA's transfer rules.
The world governing body state that players are able to register for a maximum of three clubs in a single season but play for only two. Grella made a handful of appearances for Leeds at the start of this term and also spent time on loan at Carlisle United before the turn of the year.
Motherwell believed that his emergency loan at Brunton Park would be disregarded by FIFA but confirmation of their regulations saw Grella return to Yorkshire without making an appearance for the Scottish side.
Motherwell chief executive Leeann Dempster said "cross-border rules" had ultimately undermined the agreement, saying: "Things have worked against us which is extremely disappointing."
Leeds manager Simon Grayson had welcomed the chance for Grella to move north of the border, claiming a spell in the SPL would further the striker's development.
The 24-year-old completed a productive period with Carlisle during the first half of the season, and signs of improvement in his game convinced Grayson that Grella would be well served by another stint on loan elsewhere.
United will now look to secure another club for Grella in England, where emergency loans are not counted towards the number of sides a player has represented.
Carlisle were interested in taking the forward back to Brunton Park but he appeared to rule out that option upon accepting Motherwell's offer.
Speaking on Thursday, Grella said: "I enjoyed my time at Carlisle but it was time to try something different."
The 24-year-old is behind four other strikers in the selection order at Elland Road – Luciano Becchio, Davide Somma, Billy Paynter and Ross McCormack – and he signed for Carlisle in October after rejecting previous opportunities to join Oxford United and Bradford City.
Grella made a total of 11 appearances for Carlisle, scoring three times, but Grayson was unable to promise him regular first-team football on his return to Leeds earlier this month.
Grayson said: "The loan spell clearly did Mike good and opportunities for him have been limited here with all the players we have."