Everton have pulled out of a deal to buy Sean Davis from Fulham because the midfielder will not be able to pass a medical before next weekend’s transfer deadline.
It is a shattering blow for Everton manager David Moyes, who has been chasing the former England under-21 international for weeks.
Davis has been struggling with a knee ligament injury and would have needed to satisfy Everton that a transfer from the London club was not a major gamble.
Moyes said: “After a close inspection, it is apparent that Sean Davis is unable to complete a medical prior to the transfer deadline.
“With that in mind we are not able to complete the deal at present.”
Furthermore it is unlikely Everton would have been able to get insurance for the player in the current financial climate.
Davis visited Goodison Park on Friday and completed one half of his medical, and returned today for a crucial scan on his knee.
But the results of that made it clear he will be out of action for a month, meaning Everton reluctantly pulled the plug on the deal.
Moyes will now re-double his efforts to bring in a top-class midfielder this week and could turn his attention fully to Rangers skipper Barry Ferguson.
Fulham were unwilling to allow Davis to move north on loan and to recover his fitness on Merseyside. They wanted a straight cash deal immediately, having accepted identical £5.5million offers from both Everton and Middlesbrough.
Now Davis finds himself in limbo having handed in a transfer request. Moyes may well be prepared to go back for the midfielder in the New Year transfer window, but he will be unable to complete a deal for the player before Sunday’s deadline.
His priority would now appear to be Ferguson, and he said: “He is a player I have long admired and we are interested in him.”