Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says Renato Sanches will only be allowed to leave on loan next season.
And that would be a blow to any lingering hopes Manchester United had of signing the Portuguese ace.
Sanches, 19, snubbed United to join Bayern from Benfica last May in a deal worth an initial 35million euros (£31m).
But after winning Euro 2016, he found his opportunities limited under Carlo Ancelotti last season.
He made 25 appearances for Bayern, but started just SIX Bundesliga games.
And, despite Bayern storming to the title, he failed to score a single goal for club or country all season.
His hopes of getting regular action at the Allianz Arena now look increasingly bleak after the club announced they were signing James Rodriguez on a two-year loan deal.
Rummenigge now says he is open to the starlet going out on loan in a bid to get his development back on track.
He said: “Renato Sanches did not have an easy first year here and it is very important that he plays with some continuity.
“We will still decide whether he stays with the team or if he is loaned, after we have made all our purchases.
“He urgently needs to play after the last half of the season, which was neither satisfactory for him nor for the club.”
Sanches was forced to issue an apology recently after posting a “tasteless” video showing him smelling wads of cash.