Sunderland have pulled out of a move for Portsmouth striker Ricardo Fuller after he failed a medical.
The 25-year-old's move on a pay-as-you- play deal has been wrecked by a persistent knee injury.
Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie said: "Everyone knows he has got a knee problem and Sunderland knew in advance.
"It is surprising that this has happened after Sunderland knew the facts anyway. It is frustrating, especially for Ricardo."
Storrie added: "We had structured a pay-as-you-play deal that was the same kind of deal as he had here.
"His knee might need an operation at some stage, but it could be next week or it could be in the next five years. Everyone knew that was the case.
"It is frustrating, especially for Ricardo. I am sure someone will take him because he has proved with us that his knee is okay because he appeared in more games for us last season than almost anyone."