Stoke City have failed in an attempt to take Chelsea’s recent signing Romelu Lukaku on loan.
The move fell foul of Premier League rules, which state that a club cannot loan a player to a fellow top-flight side during the same transfer window that they signed him.
The 18-year-old forward, who arrived at Stamford Bridge from Belgian club Anderlecht earlier this month, made his Blues debut in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Norwich.
But with Daniel Sturridge due to return after a suspension and the likes of Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba vying for places up front, Lukaku’s first-team prospects could be limited for the time being.
Stoke therefore approached Chelsea about taking him to the Britannia Stadium on a temporary basis.
Despite his young age, the player already has significant experience at senior level.
Lukaku made his Anderlecht debut aged 16 and has already made 10 appearances for Belgium, scoring two goals.