Aston Villa's final appeal over goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic's work permit has been rejected.
The club had hoped to secure the Hajduk Split star after a plea to the Football Association but that has been dismissed, Press Association Sport understands.
Kalinic has not played the required amount of matches for Croatia to qualify for a permit and Villa must wait until the summer if they want to resurrect any deal.
Rules state the player's required percentage of international matches over the previous 24 months is determined by the nation's official FIFA ranking.
Kalinic has two caps for Croatia, who are 18th in the world, meaning the 25-year-old needed to play in 45 per cent of their matches in the last two years.
Boss Remi Garde had been chasing a new goalkeeper after Brad Guzan was dropped for Mark Bunn this month.
The rejection is a further blow to Garde who is yet to make a signing in the January transfer window ahead of Monday's deadline.
Villa are bottom and 10 points from safety in the Barclays Premier League and host Manchester City in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Garde had been hopeful of signing Loic Remy from Chelsea and Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy on loan to aid their survival fight.
He has allowed Philippe Senderos - who had not played for the club since November 2014 - to leave on a free but expects Gabby Agbonlahor to stay despite claims Turkish side Kayserispor want to sign the forward.
AEK Athens were also keen to take Charles N'Zogbia but the winger will to stay at Villa, despite not being part of Garde's plans.
Garde added: "I think he has chosen to stay. I was not happy with the attitude Charles had but I don't want to speak too much about that because maybe it was a long story for Charles at this football club and I came only at the end.
"He is training with the under-21s."