Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has accepted the fact that Western Force star James O'Connor will not be joining his team next season.
McKenzie approached O'Connor in April as reports circulated the 20-year-old was unhappy in Perth, but now his management team have told the Reds he will not be moving to Brisbane for the 2012 season.
"We've been contacted and he won't be at the Reds," he said. "Where he is going to be I don't know. I've always said it is difficult to get people to leave and move around."
O'Connor was born on the Gold Coast and attended Nudgee College, prompting some to speculate a move home to play with his friend and Wallabies team-mate Quade Cooper was on the cards.
But although it appears as though O'Connor will stay in Perth with the Force, another side, the Melbourne Rebels, are yet to announce they have given up hope of capturing the star's signature.
McKenzie added: "The longer it goes on, the less likely it is. I have always been, I guess, suspicious he wasn't coming our way for some time because it's been dragging on.
"I've been thinking more laterally for some time."