Stoke City have blocked a move from League One club Portsmouth to secure Socceroo Harry Souttar on loan.
Souttar impressed on loan at Fleetwood Town last season, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the third tier.
Pompey were keen to lure the Australian international south, but Stoke boss Michael O'Neill is against the move.
"I’ve had this conversation with Harry direct," O'Neill told Radio Stoke.
"I knew him when he was a younger player in Scotland so I know his background.
"I look closely at Harry’s career and he’s been at Stoke for three-and-a-half years but he’s actually only been in the club for 18 months because he’s spent two years on loan – first at Ross County and then 18 months at Fleetwood.
“So I think Harry is at a point where loaning him back to League One doesn’t tell us anything. He’s at a stage now where he has to push to get into our team and the best way to do that is to be in the building.
“I don’t envisage that Harry going out on loan is something we would do at this point in time. For me, he would be better served staying in the building, pushing to get into our team.
"If that doesn’t happen then you look at the situation when the window opens again or you possibly leave it right up until the end of the window.
"But Harry played last week against Leeds and played extremely well and that’s what we want to see: our own young players come through and become not only members of the squad but capable of starting games as well.
“Continually sending them out on loan serves a purpose to a point but there comes a point when we need them then to be knocking on the door of our team.”
Twenty-one-year old Souttar has earned two caps for the Socceroos.