Sunderland won't be renewing their interest in Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj because the forward has already played for two clubs this season.
The Belgian has returned to the Red Devils from German giants Borussia Dortmund after the cancellation of his unsuccessful loan spell.
Sunderland had tried to tempt him to a move to the North East in the summer, when former boss Dick Advocaat was in charge.
But Januzaj opted for a spell in the Bundesliga.
The Black Cats have one more domestic loan to use this season but it won't be Januzaj.
That's because United will not be able to loan the Belgian out again as he has already played for the Red Devils this year and FIFA rules state players are not allowed to play for more than two clubs per season.
United have until 5pm on Friday to register him for Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie against Sheffield United, although Louis van Gaal may decide to ease the forward back into the first team set-up after a couple of games for the Under-21 side instead.
Januzaj has not played since Dortmund's 1-0 defeat to PAOK Salonika on December 10.
Van Gaal had warned Januzaj last year he was taking a risk by joining Dortmund, rather than a lower-profile club where he would have been guaranteed to play more.
"In a club like Borussia Dortmund, all the players there are also of a certain level and I said in advance 'that's a big risk for you because you have to compete with other players of a higher level' and that is not so easy," the United manager said in November.
United sent Januzaj on a season-long loan to Dortmund in August to gain experience, but the 20-year-old has barely played for the German club.
The Belgium forward has started just three matches - all in the Europa League - and his only playing time in the Bundesliga came off the bench.
There was no release clause inserted into Januzaj's loan contract when it was signed, but both clubs have agreed that it is in their best interests to terminate the deal.
He will now remain at Old Trafford for the rest of the 2015-16 campaign.