Wayne Rooney is unlikely to leave Manchester United for China this month.
The England captain’s representatives spoke to Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, but coach Fabio Cannavaro said talks did not progress.
It is understood the chances of a deal being finalised over the next week are slim and the expectation is that Rooney will stay for the rest of the season.
However, the 31-year-old’s departure from Old Trafford looks certain in the summer after 13 years at the club.
Rooney’s preference is understood to be to remain with United for the rest of his contract, which expires in 2019, but a lack of time on the pitch is forcing him to consider alternatives.
Manager Jose Mourinho refused to give any guarantees about whether Rooney would still be at the club after the Chinese transfer window closes on 28 February.
The Portuguese said he wanted Rooney to stay but it is expected the United manager would sanction the player’s departure for China in the unlikely event a transfer was agreed – even though he could not get a replacement.
Rooney is United’s record goalscorer and has won five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy since joining them as an 18-year-old for £27m from Everton in 2004.
The forward, who is seven games away from becoming England’s most-capped player, has said he would not play for an English club other than United or Everton.
He has started only three games since 17 December and was left out of Mourinho’s squad for Wednesday’s Europa League last-32 tie against Saint-Etienne because he has only just returned to training after a hamstring strain.