Bayer Leverkusen have pulled out of the race to sign Hakan Calhanoglu from Hamburg, but the Turkey international has gone missing, seemingly in an attempt to push the transfer through.
Calhanoglu, 20, was one of the few players to emerge with credit during Hamburg's miserable 2013-14 campaign which saw them narrowly avoid relegation.
Earlier this year, Calhanoglu extended his Hamburg contract until 2018 but when Leverkusen registered an interest the attacking midfielder made it clear he was keen to depart in order to play Champions League football.
Leverkusen agreed personal terms with Calhanoglu and reportedly made a 12.5 million euro bid, but Hamburg rejected the offer, saying they want to build a team around the Turkey international.
Hamburg's stance was taken on board by Leverkusen, whose CEO, Michael Schade, claimed they were no longer interested in the player.
Schade was quoted by the Rheinische Post as saying: "The case is closed for me. I have accepted it. The player is under contract."
However, he hinted that Leverkusen retain an interest should the situation change, adding: "Should circumstances change, we could discuss the transfer again."
Hamburg remain upset by Leverkusen's conduct and claim a second offer has been tabled which could lead to them taking legal action.
"They have to withdraw their offer," Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer said in Hamburger Morgenpost. "Enough is enough. We don't want to sell him, and are not ready to discuss it.
"That Mr Schade publicly says that they agreed on personal terms is not legit. From my understanding of the existing laws, they are not even allowed to negotiate with him.
"We are considering with the German Football League if we are to take legal action."
Meanwhile, Kreuzer added that Calhanoglu has cut contact with the club a day before their preseason begins, changing his phone number and telling Sport Bild he feared Hamburg fans, after visiting a neurology and psychiatry specialist in Heidelberg.
"[It is] as if the earth had swallowed him up," Kreuzer said.