Gordon Strachan has confirmed Sean St Ledger's proposed permanent move to Middlesbrough is off after the defender opted to return to Preston.
St Ledger joined Boro on a three-month loan in September - prior to Strachan's arrival at the club - and was set to complete a £4.5million switch to the north east in the January transfer window.
However, although the player has been a regular in Middlesbrough's first team, he has now decided his future lies at Deepdale.
Strachan told Middlesbrough's official website: "Having spoken to his family, he feels he will enjoy his football back at Preston.
"First of all, he's been great to work with and socially as well I've enjoyed his company.
"For the last two weeks I've tried to persuade him to stay with the club. I've tried my best to change his mind but we respect his decision and wish him good luck."
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