Premier League newcomers Cardiff City have missed out on re-signing Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic on loan.
Grujic, 22, joined Cardiff in January and played 14 times as they secured promotion to the Premier League.
"Grujic looks like he will stay put," said Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock, who had been confident of securing the Serbia international for another spell.
"I think he would be better off here, but it is a contract issue. I understand his point of view."
Gruijic was Jurgen Klopp's first signing as Liverpool boss when he joined from Red Star Belgrade for £5.1m in January 2016. He has made eight substitute appearances in the Premier League.
"Liverpool have four competitions before Christmas and he can play in those without being named in the 25-man squad," added Warnock.
"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."
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Cardiff have signed four players so far this summer, all from the Championship, with forward Bobby Reid joining from Bristol City, winger Josh Murphy from Norwich City, defender Greg Cunningham from Preston North End and goalkeeper Alex Smithies from QPR.
The club have been in negotiations with Villareal over Senegal midfielder Alfred N'Diaye, but Warnock says links to Watford's English striker Troy Deeney are unlikely to lead to his signing.
"We have spoken to the club involved but I think the package is a bit beyond us," Warnock said of N'Diaye.
"Troy Deeney - I read we offered £15m. That is ridiculous.
"It makes me smile really. We get calls from agents and I think: 'That will be in the newspapers tomorrow.'"
Cardiff finished second in the Championships last season and are the bookmakers' favourites to be relegated from the top flight this term.
The window for incoming transfers closes on 9 August and the Bluebirds begin their Premier League campaign at Bournemouth on Saturday, 11 August.
*Listen to the extended interview with Warnock on BBC Radio Wales Sport from 14:00 BST