Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has distanced himself from potentially signing Socceroo James Troisi, who has annulled his contract with Al Ittihad and has been linked with a number of Hyundai A-League clubs.
Troisi played for Victory in 2013-14, scoring 15 goals in 35 matches in all competitions but it appears unlikely Muscat can find a spot in his current roster for the Asian Cup hero.
"We don't have available marquee spots at the moment.
"So knowing all the facts, it's very, very hard for James to come to this football club," Muscat told reporters on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Muscat reckons he has just "10 match-fit bodies" at his disposal ahead of Friday night's game against Hyundai A-League leaders Brisbane Roar.
Victory have five players away with the Olyroos for the next fortnight, skipper Carl Valeri remains out with illness, while Nick Ansell and Archie Thompson have yet to reach peak fitness after long-term injuries.
On top of that, full-back Daniel Georgievski is unavailable to play the Roar due to suspension, meaning Muscat is considering playing either midfielder Rashid Mahazi or potential debutant Stefan Nigro in defence on Friday.
Muscat cannot remember a time at the club where they have been so undermanned.
"I think we're down to 10 match-fit bodies," he said on Thursday.
Muscat claimed it would be "irresponsible" to start Ansell against Brisbane, despite the central defender having made his return off the bench in Victory's 3-3 draw with Central Coast Mariners last week.
Stand-in captain Leigh Broxham will therefore have to continue at centre-back.
In Georgievski's absence - the 27-year-old received his fifth yellow card of the season last week - Muscat claimed he could bring in Jesse Makarounas, Archie Thompson or Nigro into midfield and push Mahazi back.
Or the Big V's boss could start 19-year-old Nigro at right-back and keep Mahazi and Oliver Bozanic as the defensive midfield pair.
But regardless of personnel, Muscat is focused on whether his side can maintain the momentum from their second half against the Mariners where they came from three goals down to snatch a point.
"Our performances within games have been outstanding but for nowhere near long enough, and to win games you need to be at that level for long periods of time… there have been glimpses of very good performances but we need to sustain that," he said.
"To do that we have to switch on mentally, our attitude's got to be right, our willingness to work for each other throughout that will return points for us - I have no doubt."