Nigerian club Warri Wolves explain they have rejected an offer from French Ligue 2 side CA Bastia for Sunday Mba.
The midfielder, who scored the goal that won the African Nations Cup for Nigeria earlier this year, agreed personal terms last week.
The 24-year-old was even pictured in a local newspaper with a CA Bastia shirt.
"I sincerely felt sorry for the player, but when we couldn't agree on their proposal we had to pull the plug," Warri chairman Amaju Pinnick told BBC Sport.
The Corsican club had proposed to pay the transfer fee of €250,000 in three instalments which will be spread across 2014 and 2015.
But Wolves rejected the terms outright and pulled out of discussions, according to Pinnick.
"We completely rejected their offer and that's the end of Sunday Mba proposed move to CA Bastia," he explained
Mba himself was philosophical about missing out on his desired switch to Europe.
"I guess Warri Wolves have done everything within their means to try and fix this unfortunate outcome without success," Mba told BBC Sport.
"This is not the end of the world for me. I can handle this difficult time and hope to continue to explore alternative opportunities out there.
"I must work hard and I know God will make another way for me."
He is part of the Nigeria squad that is preparing to face Malawi in Calabar on Saturday in a crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier.