Manchester United's hopes of signing France international defender Adil Rami have been dealt a significant blow after AC Milan ruled out any possibility of selling him in January.
According to reports in Italy - as cited by talkSPORT - the Serie 'A' giants will not allow the 29-year-old to leave the San Siro in the New Year, as Pippo Inzaghi sees the centre-back as an important part of his first-team squad.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal had planned to make an £8 million bid for the former Valencia star as he looks to strengthen his backline at Old Trafford, after receiving encouraging signs that Rami would be available for transfer.
However, he'll now have to turn his attention to alternative targets in the mid-season window, after Milan appeared to make a U-turn on the decision, meaning that he will be staying put for the foreseeable future.
Mats Hummels, Miranda and Ron Vlaar are three other defenders that have been linked with Manchester United in recent months, but it remains to be seen who - if anyone - Van Gaal recruits at the start of 2015.
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The Premier League giants have had a particularly unsettled backline for the majority of the 2014/15 campaign, as a series of injury problems and suspensions continue to hamper the Dutch coach's team selection.
But, with a number of sidelined stars now back in contention, he might well stick with what he's got and continue to keep faith in the club's emerging young stars from the Red Devils famed youth academy.