Derby manager Paul Jewell has slammed the 'embarrassing' impasse which has left goalkeeper Roy Carroll kicking his heels.
The Rams today prematurely confirmed Carroll had signed for the club, initially on a short-term deal until the end of the season.
But the move is on hold as Rangers boss Walter Smith has yet to sign another goalkeeper to cover for the loss of Carroll.
It is understood Carroll had even offered to buy himself out of the remainder of his contract with the current Scottish League leaders, such is his desire to play for Derby.
But Carroll now finds himself in limbo, and currently holed up in a Derby hotel, hoping for the situation to be resolved.
At this stage, it appears unlikely Carroll will make his debut in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Preston at Pride Park, as had been hoped.
'We thought he was signed this morning, just as we thought he was last week, but at the moment he is not,' said Jewell, who has been chasing the Northern Ireland international for a few weeks.
'We still hope to get it done, but it's very frustrating and a bit embarrassing because we thought we had word from Rangers he could leave.
'But I then get off the training ground this morning and find they haven't yet released his papers.'
Jewell concedes he was also 'led to believe' Carroll was prepared to pay up his contract in a bid to expedite matters.
Rangers have since confirmed there is nothing malicious in their refusal to release Carroll, but they are simply waiting to sign another goalkeeper.
'I've spoken to Roy regularly since we were given permission to talk to him and he is desperately keen to come here and do well,' Jewell added.
'After speaking to Walter (Smith) a month ago now, he said as long as he could get a replacement then we could have Roy, and as far as I was aware that was happening.
'They have (Allan) McGregor and (Graeme) Smith, but because they're in Europe they need three goalkeepers, and I thought something was done, but obviously it isn't.
'Roy even went back to Rangers last week, said his goodbyes, shook hands with Walter and I thought he was free to go.
'Now I've found that isn't the case, so it is more than a little bit annoying for Roy, myself and everybody here.'
Further bad news for Jewell is that on-loan defender Danny Mills requires knee surgery and could miss the rest of the season.
Mills, who was signed from Manchester City until the end of the season, limped out of last week's loss at Portsmouth.
Scans have confirmed the full-back needs an operation and Jewell added: 'It's a real blow for Danny.
'He has been a good influence since he has been here, but he needs an op which is probably going to keep him out for the season.
'We'll certainly try and get another defender in before the window closes. Whether we can cancel the loan arrangement with City, that's something I'll let the chairman deal with. I'm in the dark at the moment on that one.'