Gareth Bale is believed to have turned down the chance to join Tottenham Hotspur for £10m and will remain at Southampton until the end of the season.
The 17-year-old Welsh left-back is understood to have been impressed by Spurs' offer after meeting the manager Martin Jol but wants to wait before deciding his future.
The decision will come as a relief to the Southampton manager George Burley, who has been working hard to persuade Bale, his family and his advisers that he should not leave the Championship side in January.
Spurs topped an offer, thought to be around £8m made by Manchester United. Bale is understood to favour a move to Old Trafford but Sir Alex Ferguson admitted on Saturday that Spurs were favourites to sign the accomplished young defender.
A complication has been Burley's insistence that Bale remains at Southampton until the end of the season. There had been talk that a deal could be struck now with the north London club loaning the defender back, but such an arrangement is not allowed and Spurs, certainly, wanted the player immediately.
The dilemma for the promotion-chasing Southampton is that they will probably receive far less in terms of a transfer fee for Bale having delayed his sale. Bale was again watched by United and Spurs at Sunday's FA Cup tie against Manchester City and has also interested Newcastle United.Reuse content