Simply put, Real Madrid did not want to let Fabio Coentrao go anywhere this month.
Manchester United fans were left disappointed early on Transfer Deadline day - as David Moyes was quick to tell the Sky Sports news journalists to go home on Friday.
One player they were heavily linked with in the window was Portuguese international Fabio Coentrao.
The left-back has been continuously linked with a move to Old Trafford - and the utility man would have been an excellent acquisition going into the final few months of the season.
But the deal never came off.
Many felt Real Madrid would have had no issue letting Coentrao go - either on loan or on a permanent deal.
The swashbuckling player has featured for just 284 La Liga minutes - and with a World Cup on the horizon his need for first-team football looked like leading a path right out the exit door.
He has however still got one fan in Carlo Ancelotti - the Italian has now been clarifying the decision to keep him at the club - suggesting he was still necessary to help in their fight for silverware on many fronts:
“Coentrão wasn’t going to leave because it was clear for him and for us that he was staying. He’s doing well and he played a good match the other day…”
It seems that Madrid never intended to allow him on his way - as Ancelotti obviously believes that he is a vital asset for the rest of the season.
Right now United could certainly use Coentrao - who can also play in defensive midfield - to add strength to their struggling team.
However he will instead spend the rest of the season watching from the bench at the Santiago Bernabeu.
image: © Addesolen