Sunderland’s hopes of landing another goalkeeper to provide cover for injured Vito Mannone were dealt a late deadline day blow.
The club had hoped to secure Mika Domingues from Boavista on a two-year deal.
But the deal was not completed in time, leaving manager David Moyes with just Jordan Pickford and untested Max Stryjek as his goalkeeping options.
There was brighter news for Mannone though, who has had a successful operation on his ruptured elbow ligaments.
The Italian was due to be out for three months but he said he will be “back sooner” in a message posted on his social media account.
Sunderland had tried desperately to bring in goalkeeping cover on deadline day but their efforts were ultimately in vain.
Norwich City keeper John Ruddy and Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessey were among those targeted.
The Championship side rejected a bid, while Palace turned down a loan move for Hennessey.
Sunderland moved for 25-year-old Domingues but despite initial hopes the deal had been completed, Sunderland confirmed in the early hours it had not.
A Sunderland statement read: “Despite the best endeavours of both clubs, a deal has not been completed for the transfer of Mika Domingues from Boavista to Sunderland AFC.”
A Portugal under-21 international, Mika has been Boavista’s main goalkeeper for two seasons. He was due to arrive on Wearside today, with a two-year contract on the cards.
Sunderland can still sign players out of contract, with 43-year-old Mark Schwarzer one option.
The former Middlesbrough goalkeeper is unattached after being released by Leicester City.
Mannone injured his elbow in training on the eve of the EFL Cup win over Shrewsbury Town, with England Under-21 international Jordan Pickford starting that game and the 1-1 draw with Southampton.
Pickford starred against the Saints but was at fault for their 85th minute equaliser, Jay Rodriguez’s striker squirming underneath him.
Mannone tweeted: “After a successful operation, everyone very optimistic that I’ll be back sooner than expected. Can’t wait to work! #SAFC #vitosaves”