Bolton Wanderers' deadline day bid to lure Ched Evans away from Fleetwood Town was foiled by a clause in his loan agreement.
The Gazette understands that the Sheffield United loanee had been the subject of interest from Bolton as well as Sunderland.
Sunderland were interested in a permanent move but withdrew their interest before paying £4m for Wigan Athletic's Will Grigg.
Wanderers then tried to snap up the forward but Town had a clause in Evans' season-long loan which stated the Blades had to trigger a 24-hour notice period in order to recall the forward.
With Bolton's loan interest sparked midway through Thursday's deadline day, fewer than 24 hours before the 11pm cut-off, it would have required Sheffield United, Evans and Town to sign an agreement to cancel the loan.
It is believed the Blades and Evans did so with the forward travelling to Bolton to tie up a fresh loan deal there.
However, as Town could not find a suitable replacement within the time remaining, the Gazette understands they did not put pen to paper.
It means Evans will stay at Town for the rest of the season with assistant coach Clint Hill backing the 12-goal striker to put aside any disappointment.
He said: "I think there is a bit of respect there because the manager (Joey Barton) put a lot of faith in him and put his neck on the line to go and get Ched and bring him into the football club.
"From our point of view he is a great character around the building and hopefully he knows how much we value him.
"He's been a great asset for us, it would have been a big loss if we had lost him.
"The amount of goals he scored and the presence that he has for us in that front position is very important.
"We are very glad that he has stayed with us for the remainder of the season."