Crewe Alexandra boss Dario Gradi has ruled out a return to the club for Dennis Lawrence as he looks to shore up his defence.
Veteran centre-half Lawrence, who spent most of last season on loan at Gresty Road, has been linked with a move back to the League Two strugglers.
Lawrence is currently a free agent after leaving Swansea City in the summer, but his international commitments with Trinidad & Tobago have persuaded Gradi not to sign the 35-year-old.
Gradi confirmed he spoke to Lawrence's agent regarding a deal, but is now planning to turn to the loan market to tighten up a defence which has conceded 36 goals in 19 games this season.
"Dennis Lawrence would come back, but he wants to play for Trinidad & Tobago, so there is no point having him here if he's only going to play half the games," Gradi told The Sentinel.
"He'd also have to play in a three at the back if he did, and we're not at that level.
"His agent has been on the phone. It didn't take long to discuss that one.
"But I think if I can get someone I will. We'll look at that possibility.
"In the meantime, I'll continue to work with what I've got because they're certainly not beyond hope."