Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has hinted that his interest in Chelsea defender Robert Huth could be resurrected.
The Teessiders pulled out of a £5million move for the 21-year-old German international last week after a medical revealed the extent of the ankle injury which sidelined him for most of the World Cup finals.
However, Southgate, who had targetted the Berlin-born player as his first signing, has not completely closed the door on the deal.
He told the club's official website: 'Unfortunately, Robert reported with an injury from the World Cup.
'We need to see how that clears up before we are able to proceed with it. That's the position really.
'He's back at Chelsea now. We are all disappointed we weren't able to proceed.'
Huth has already vowed to prove his fitness and persuade Boro to rekindle their interest, although whether he can do that before the closure of the transfer window next month remains to be seen.
In the meantime, Southgate has started to look elsewhere and is understood to have made an enquiry about Manchester City's contract rebel Sylvain Distin.
But he said: 'I don't want to be in the habit of talking about players until I'm officially allowed to talk to them or we have actually signed them.
'The only reason I was prepared to talk about Robert is that we had permission from Chelsea to speak to him.
'I think anything else isn't fair to the player involved, nor the club he is at.'