Cardiff Blues have failed in a bid to sign Wales prop Tomas Francis from Exeter Chiefs on a dual contract with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
The tight-head's Exeter contract expires in 2019 and talks with the WRU and Blues have ended because a fee for his release was not agreed.
The WRU was unwilling to meet Exeter's transfer fee demands, and Francis declined to contribute to a "buyout".
Francis, 25, has overtaken Samson Lee as Wales' tight-head prop in 2017.
The York-born player, who has won 22 international caps, started four of five 2017 Six Nations games.
Exeter boss Rob Baxter recently said he expected Francis to stay there.
Francis has never played rugby in Wales, having played for Doncaster and London Scottish.
He left the Scottish exiles for Exeter ahead of the 2014-15 season and signed a contract extension in September 2016.