Veteran French international Lilian Thuram's move to Paris St Germain collapsed on Friday after the defender was diagnosed with a heart condition.
The 36-year-old FIFA World Cup™ winner had been due to sign an initial one-year contract with the French first division side. But he told a press conference on Friday that a "heart defect" had been detected during a medical visit with the Parisian club.
"If I'm holding this press conference it's unfortunately not to announce my signing with PSG but to tell you that doctors have detected a heart defect," the player said.
"It seems that it's the same illness that my brother had a few years ago and from which he died on a basketball court."
Thuram explained that doctors will continue their tests and they should have the final results in a month. He added that he would await the final results before deciding if he would end his footballing career.
PSG coach Paul Le Guen said: "It's a surprise and disappointing. Lilian was top of the list of defenders we wanted to recruit. We're going to wait and hope that he can join us later."
Thuram has spent the last two seasons at Barcelona but has struggled to hold down a first team place.
He began his career at Monaco with whom he played from 1990 until 1996 before spending 10 years in Italy with Parma and Juventus.
Former Monaco boss Arsene Wenger, who coached Thuram at the French side, on Friday questioned the thoroughness of the medical tests the defender underwent during his transfers.
"I don't know if the staff of the French national team should be implicated in that, I think it's more the clubs who examined him each time he changed club," the Arsenal manager told French radio.
"We have to see if he was put through rigorous medical visits for his heart and this concerns me too because I saw him at Monaco: I think at that time he underwent all the tests but I was never told that he had a medical problem."
A key member of the French teams that won the FIFA World Cup™ in 1998 and the European championships two years later Thuram is his country's record cap-holder with 142 appearances.
However, he had a poor UEFA EURO 2008 and was dropped for France's final group game against Italy which saw them crash out of the tournament. PSG had a disappointing season under Le Guen winning the League Cup but narrowly avoiding relegation on the final day.