Tony Pulis' hopes of signing Gareth Barry for West Brom look set to be scuppered by his opposite number at Everton, Ronald Koeman.
The Baggies boss has identified the 36-year-old as an ideal replacement in the Hawthorns midfield engine room for Stoke-bound Darren Fletcher in this transfer window.
Barry, who has made 770 appearances in his 20-year career, had been linked with a move from Goodison Park following the arrival of Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen to add to the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies and James McCarthy.
But it seems Koeman is in no mood to let the experienced former Aston Villa and Manchester City man depart the Toffees and reports claim he still sees him as a valuable member of the squad going into a busy season with Europa League football added to the schedule.
It means Pulis will have to cast his net elsewhere and he admitted that the majority of his business might have to wait until later in the window.
He said: "Although we sit at the top table the top six or seven feast on the food and then we have to hang around for the scraps and pick the best we can to take the club forward."
Pulis added: "This club has actually made money. That’s the way the club wants to run. It’s a good model. Most people do understand those enormous amounts of money that come into this football club and it should be able to run on a profit.
"It’s difficult because you are in a market with no sense. I’m happy to take the mantle on although it can be frustrating at times."