Argentina centre-back Nicolas Otamendi has been left in limbo after Valencia pulled out of a deal to take him on loan from Porto just as January's transfer window closed.
The La Liga club reportedly agreed to sign the defender on loan until June last Friday and pay a loan fee of one million euros with a view to a 12 million euro permanent deal in the summer
However, they realised at the last moment that Otamendi would be counted as a non-EU player and they already had the maximum of three on their books.
Porto had apparently already left the 25-year-old -- linked with a move to Manchester City last month -- out of their Europa League list because they considered the deal done, and recalled Senegalese defender Abdoulaye Ba from his loan at Vitoria de Guimaraes.
According to reports in the Portuguese press, Porto still want the one million euro loan fee but cash-strapped Valencia are unwilling to pay.
Porto coach Paulo Fonseca told O Jogo that he could not comment on the case, suggesting he would leave it to directors or legal experts to work out. “Otamendi is an administrative case,” he said.
Los Che president Amadeo Salvo has reportedly travelled to Portugal to try and sort the situation out, with reports in the Valencia media saying Otamendi could now go on loan to Velez Sarsfield.
Valencia made a late move to sign Philippe Senderos instead of Otamendi. The ex-Valencia man was presented as a Valencia player on Tuesday, and told reporters his move to Spain had come about very quickly.
"They made contact with me on the 31st in the afternoon," he said. "I did not doubt for a moment as when a club like this comes in for you, you must do everything possible to make it happen."