Plymouth Albion have failed in a bid to sign Exeter Chiefs fly-half Myles Dorrian on loan.
Albion head coach Nat Saumi also says it is "doubtful" fellow Exeter back Nic Sestaret will return to Brickfields this month.
Saumi was keen to bring in both players on short-term deals to boost his struggling Championship side ahead of this month's transfer deadline.
Exeter agreed to let the pair, who have found first-team opportunities hard to come by this season at Sandy Park, go out on loan and allowed Albion to speak to them.
But Dorrian also held talks with his former club, Bedford Blues, and Albion have been told he will be heading back to the Goldington Road side, who visit Brickfields on Saturday.
Saumi said: "Exeter asked the player and he preferred to go back to Bedford. It was up to him."
On the chances of Sestaret returning to Albion, where he holds the club record for most league tries in a season, Saumi said: "It's doubtful. He's got other commitments, but we are still not totally sure. I will talk to him again."
Saumi is now looking elsewhere to bolster his squad, who have won just one league game since the end of September. "The closing date [for transfers] is drawing closer," Saumi added.
Albion will still be without dual-registered players Luke Cowan-Dickie, Henry Slade, Jack Arnott and Alex Brown this weekend, but Exeter have made Lloyd Fairbrother, Will Carrick-Smith and Tom Cowan-Dickie available to them for Saturday's home match against Bedford.
Scrum-half Ruairi Cushion insists supporters will see a different Plymouth team on Saturday in their first match at home for three weeks.
Albion attracted their lowest league crowd for a decade as they lost 9-6 in a poor game to struggling Moseley before two encouraging away displays at Leeds and Rotherham.
"The home crowd are going to see a different team compared to a couple of weeks ago," Cushion insisted.
"After the Moseley game we had a big meeting – a big in-house chat with coaches and players. I think that has had a massive effect on the team. We are playing a lot better rugby – we are scoring tries and enjoying our rugby."