Western Sydney Wanderers coach Markus Babbel is a great admirer of James Troisi but says he can't afford to sign the Melbourne Victory star.
The 30-year-old's contract with Victory expires in May and the Wanderers have been linked with a bid.
Troisi, overlooked by Socceroos coach Graham Arnold for January's Asian Cup, has played 100 A-League matches for Victory and was a key part of last season's premiership-winning team.
Babbel said Troisi would be a great acquisition but would command too high a fee.
"He's a top player but no, I think, he's too expensive for us," the German said when asked about Troisi following Friday's 4-1 win over Brisbane.
Babbel's comments would suggest sounding out veteran French winger Franck Ribery is also unlikely to end with the 35-year-old gracing the newly-built Bankwest Stadium next season.
Babbel has used his connections with former club Bayern Munich to discuss the idea of a move to Australia with Ribery but he admits luring the 2013 Champions League winner is unlikely.
The likelihood of German import Alexander Baumjohann being at the Wanderers next season also looks increasingly unlikely
The 32-year-old has been tipped to return to Europe at season's end after an underwhelming season in Red and Black and was left out of the squad to play the Roar after a poor training week.
While Baumjohann's long-term future remains clouded, Babbel was hopeful his compatriot would respond to his axing.
"It was not enough for me because now I have these options and I can't say to someone who's giving 100 per cent 'you stay at home' so I'm not doing this," Babbel said.
"I hope I can see a reaction next week."
Australian Associated Press