Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee has conceded defeat in the club's attempts to sign USA international Stuart Holden.
The Aberdeen-born midfielder is set to become a free agent as his contract with MLS side Houston Dynamo expires at the end of the month.
McGhee was keen to bring the 24-year-old back to Scotland, but concedes he may be unable to match the wages on offer from rival teams.
"It's no surprise that he is attracting interest from bigger clubs," McGhee told the Evening Express.
"It's likely we've missed the boat on that one now because there is no way we will be able to compete with the type of wages he is likely to be offered.
"It's frustrating but that's the world we live in."