Hull manager Phil Brown has admitted defeat in his attempts to sign Manchester United striker Fraizer Campbell.
Hull agreed a club record fee for the England Under-21 international a month ago and were confident of concluding a deal. However, the contract offered has remained unsigned and Sunderland have now stepped in with a bid of around £5million.
Brown told the Hull Daily Mail: "I'm disappointed but I was always nervous about the deal because of the way it was dragging along."
He added: "But things happen for a reason and as far as Hull City are concerned, the only ones I'm interested in getting through the door are players who want to play for the club."
Hull agreed terms with Campbell but the player chose not sign before the recent European Under-21 Championships and then went on a family holiday.
There were also believed to be complications regarding the terms of his departure from United.
It is the second time Hull have failed in a bid to sign Campbell, 21, permanently after a £7million offer last summer came to nothing.
Campbell was a huge fans' favourite during a successful loan at Hull in the 2007-08 promotion campaign but he then joined Tottenham on a season-long deal last year.
Brown says he has spoken to United boss Sir Alex Ferguson about the failed Campbell bid.
He added: "I took a phone call from Sir Alex and he was apologetic that the player had not come to us. He firmly believed this was the right club for Fraizer but he's obviously getting advice from somewhere else."