Rennes have left the door open for Liverpool and West Ham by pulling out of a move for Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard.
The 18-year-old will be sent out on loan by the European champions in January to gain valuable first-team experience.
After chasing the Norway international in the summer, Rennes had been leading the way and they were expected to tie up a deal in the coming weeks.
But the French club have now pulled out of a move for Odegaard with their president, Rene Ruello, explaining the youngster won’t get enough playing time with them.
“[Rennes manager] Christian [Gourcuff] looked and said to us: ‘Right now he’s not ready, he needs to work,'” Ruello told the Pleine Lucarne show in France.
“If we have him for six months, he’s not going to play, or very little, so there’s no interest in doing it.
“If we have him for 18 months, we’re going to get him up to speed and he’ll leave after that. Rennes aren’t here to bring through players for other clubs.”