Darren Ferguson admitted he was disappointed with Conor Grant’s contribution during his second loan spell with Doncaster Rovers.
Ferguson announced on Tuesday that he would not be pursuing a permanent deal for the Everton midfielder this summer.
This came despite having previously agreed a fee with the Toffees for the 22-year-old.
That fee would have taken up a significant chunk of Ferguson’s transfer kitty for the summer, as he prepares to take Rovers back into League One.
And he said that, coupled with Grant’s struggles to produce his best form during his loan spell, led to him pulling the plug on the prospective deal.
“The finances come into it because it was quite a large fee, but we knew that anyway,” Ferguson told The Star.
“I think the boy has been disappointing.
“He’s not had the impact he made the first time he came last year.
“I think it could be down to him missing pre-season, then going to Ipswich and not playing much football while he was there. It might have had an effect.
“The midfield is an area of the pitch I need to strengthen.
“I’m hopefully going to get one or two in there.
“We’ve decided not to take the option on Conor because the fee and everything that comes with that would be a large amount of what I could spend.”
Ferguson admits physicality is a key factor he will be looking to add to his midfield ranks.
And he says there is a possibility he could look at bringing Grant back on loan, once he has secured his priority targets.