Charlton have had their work permit application for Costa Rica winger Christian Bolanos rejected by the Home Office.
The Addicks agreed a one-year loan deal with South American club Deportivo Saprissa for the 22-year-old earlier this month, subject to international clearance.
Despite Bolanos having represented his country 18 times, twice in the World Cup finals, as a substitute against hosts Germany and then starting versus Poland, the player did not meet the required quota of `A' appearances set down by the Government for non-European nationals.
Manager Iain Dowie had been excited by the prospect of adding the attack-minded wideman - who had a trail at Liverpool after impressing against the Reds in the 2005 Club World Championship - to his squad after linking up with Charlton during pre-season.
He said: 'We felt we had a very strong case.
'Christian is an emerging talent and has become a fixture in the Costa Rica side despite his age, so it is very disappointing, not just for us but for the lad as well.'
Home Office rules state work permit appeals can only be made once in 12 months.
Liverpool were able to complete the transfer of Chile forward Mark Gonzalez following a second successful hearing.
For a permit to be granted, a non-EU player must have featured in 75% of 'A' internationals for his country in the two years before the application, while the country in question must regularly make the top 70 world rankings. Costa Rica are 47th.
Dowie maintained the club would remain in contact with Bolanos, and hinted Charlton could look to complete the move in the future.
'It would have been a fantastic move for him - he is super fit, and was ready to hit the ground running,' the Addicks boss added.
Dowie, who took charge at The Valley from long-serving boss Alan Curbishley over the summer, remains keen to further bolster his squad ahead of tomorrow's transfer window deadline.
'It causes us a problem because he fits the description of what we are trying to do at the club; he is athletic and very good technically,' Dowie told the club's website.
'We must move on now, it is something we will not let go, though, because he enjoyed it here and we certainly rate him.'
Uruguayan midfielder Omar Pouso is understood to have travelled to south-east London to discuss a loan move from his current South American club Penarol.
However, the experience with Bolanos may now lead Charlton to look elsewhere.