Tyson Fury would prefer to face Oleksandr Usyk rather than Dillian Whyte, promoter Bob Arum has revealed, to finally become the undisputed heavyweight champion.
The WBC did not officially order a mandatory challenger to Fury's title at their annual convention on Tuesday night - they had been expected to grant Whyte a shot and end his lengthy wait.
IBF, WBA and WBO champion Usyk is set for a rematch next year with Anthony Joshua, who triggered his option for an immediate second fight.
Top Rank promoter Arum, who promotes Fury in the US, told Sky Sports why his mandatory challenger was not named: "Whyte's people had brought an arbitration proceeding against the WBC. The WBC said they would not grant Whyte a mandatory position while the arbitration is pending.
"That was appropriate.
"Fury may end up fighting Whyte, we'll see.
"But it won't be with the requirement of the WBC.
"Whyte is an excellent fighter. When the time comes, and it will come soon, for Tyson to figure out his next opponent then Whyte should be at the top of the list."
The WBC had previously said that Fury and Usyk had 30 days to agree a fight, or Fury would be ordered to face the WBC interim champion, Whyte.
But Joshua's decision to force a rematch with Usyk meant no talks took place. The deadline expired without a decision on who Fury will face next.
"The alternative is that if Joshua decides not to exercise his rematch against Usyk and decides to step aside, the fight we would like to make is between Usyk and Fury," Arum said.
"That is a fight to unify the titles once and for all.
"Then Joshua can fight the winner of the undisputed fight.
"Whyte can stand in line and fight the winner ultimately.
"That's what Tyson would like. And I represent Tyson. That is his preference.
"If they want to fight each other, which I believe they do? I would facilitate it."
Usyk sensationally beat Joshua in September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. He and Fury now stand atop the heavyweight division as its unbeaten champions.
Joshua and Fury had previously held talks to stage an undisputed title fight last summer which did not come to fruition.
Joshua has the chance to regain that position if he ends Usyk's undefeated record in next year's rematch.
Arum said about hopes to eventually see Fury vs Joshua: "If Joshua decides he wants the rematch straight away, which I think would be a mistake because there is no way he will win unless he gets new trainers in and figures out how to fight a southpaw, then he has the absolute right to do it and nobody will interfere with that contract.
"If he decides, which I think he should, to take another fight? Usyk can fight Fury for all the belts, Joshua can fight the winner.
"I think that's the way he should go. If he does that, everybody will accommodate him."
Joshua and Whyte's promoter Eddie Hearn was offered the right to reply.
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
November 20 - BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewaju Durodola
Florian Marku vs Jorick Luisetto
Hosea Burton vs Dan Azeez - British light-heavyweight title
November 20 - Top Rank in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter - WBO welterweight title
December 11 - BOXXER in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin
December 11 - Top Rank in New York
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey
Jared Anderson vs Oleksandr Teslenko
Nico Ali Walsh
December 17 - Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne - IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles
February 26 - Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall - undisputed super-lightweight title