Reading have been hit by the news that Fulham have refused to extend keeper Marcus Hahnemann's loan deal for another month.
Hahnemann arrived at the Madejski Stadium in December and has produced some fine displays in a run that has taken the club to the top of Division Two.
Reading boss Alan Pardew had hoped to keep the American keeper, but Fulham have blocked the move and told the Royals they must either buy Hahnemann or forget him.
Pardew told the Reading Evening Post: "Marcus will be going back to Fulham as they have decided not to let us have him for another month.
"You'll have to ask them why. We've tried various angles but they don't want to know.
"It's a shame because he's been great for us and we've been great for him, but like some good love affairs it's now at an end."
Hahnemann was equally downbeat that a new deal could not be brokered.
"I am back training with Fulham as nothing has been sorted out," he added.
"I think Fulham wanted Reading to buy me and at the moment are saying I can't stay for another month.
"I'm still hoping something can be sorted out. I don't think the door is totally shut but we'll have to wait and see.
"I am disappointed as everything has gone so well."
Fulham's Deputy MD Lee Hoos added on Monday evening:
"Reading made an informal request to extend the loan period which we felt was not in the best interest's of either the player or Fulham Football Club.
"Marcus has done well at both Rochdale and Reading and he has proved that he is capable of competing at a high level.
"He remains a valuable member of our playing squad."