Deposed captain Greg Halford has found one exit route out of Rotherham United blocked by the club where he spent last month on loan.
The Millers have told the utility player, who signed a two-year deal in the sumer, he is no longer part of their plans.
But Birmingham City, for whom Halford made three December substitute appearances, have ruled out another deal for the 31-year-old.
“Greg is a little bit unfortunate that he didn’t get any opportunities to start games,” said Blues boss Gary Rowett.
“Based on that and based on what we saw in training, we just didn’t quite feel as though we could do anything at this moment, in this window, for a longer term.
“He was a player whose versatility we felt would help get us through the month.
“I hoped he would get an opportunity but because our form really picked up while he was here it was very difficult to change it.
“I am not the sort of manager who will just throw players in to have a look at them for a game. Every game is a chance to win three points.”
Halford began life at AESSEAL New York Stadium in August as skipper but lost the armband and his place under previous Rotherham manager Steve Evans after five league starts.
Neil Redfearn succeeded Evans in October but Halford has never been selected by the new boss.
Meanwhile, midfielder Paul Green is relishing tonight’s Championship match at home to Brighton and Hove Albion after fighting his way back into the starting 11 against Leeds United last Saturday.
The midfielder had been out of favour after a poor performance against Ipswich Town in early November, but played well as a substitute against Preston North End 10 days ago and impressed again when he played the full match at Elland Road.
“I thought I was getting around the pitch against Leeds,” he said. “I felt comfortable, I felt strong and sharp. It was just nice to be on that pitch and playing again. No-one wants to be on the bench. Hopefully, I’ll be in the team against Brighton.”
Green, 32, revealed he managed to keep up his spirits despite his spell out of the starting line-up.
“Some people can get themselves down and beat themselves up but, for me, you’ve just got to be ready to take that chance again when it comes,” he said.
“You’ve got to keep yourself sharp, keep your fitness up. I’ve tried to train as if I was playing. Staying strong mentally is a big thing. You can get yourself down but it’s not going to help you in the long run.”