Stoke boss Tony Pulis admits if the bid to bring in Portsmouth's David James continues to stall he may have to turn his attentions elsewhere.
The Potters have reopened talks with Pompey over a proposed loan move for the England international after discussions broke down first time around last week.
Pulis wanted to sign the goalkeeper before 12pm on Friday this time around, which would have made him eligible to face Arsenal in the FA Cup on Sunday.
The Britannia Stadium boss has accepted defeat on that front as a deal has yet to be agreed, but he will continue discussions with the struggling Fratton Park club.
"It's exactly the same as last week. We're in a situation where the clubs are trying to do a deal," said Pulis.
"If we were going to do it and wanting him to play on Sunday then we had to do it by noon, which has not been the case, so it takes the pressure off in a lot of respects.
"There's been another hold up. I thought we were close last week and then it got pulled right at the end, and I thought it was close today (Friday), but it hasn't happened yet.
"We are hoping it will be done, but Portsmouth are trying to get the best deal they can, and we're trying to get the best deal we can."
Pulis admitted that James is not his only option should the two clubs fail to come to an agreement, with goalkeeping cover his main priority this transfer window.
He said: "I'll certainly be doing my damnedest to bring in David James, and if I can't then I'll look for another goalkeeper.
"We need three goalkeepers. We need a spare in case we get any injuries over the next two or three months."
Pulis' interest in James has surprised Potters fans as current No.1 Thomas Sorensen has been in solid form this season.
The Dane has been linked with a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in recent weeks, but Pulis insists reports involving himself and James have had little impact on his goalkeeper.
"He's fine," insisted Pulis. "I've spoken to Thomas, and I think the important thing is we bring competition in because it brings everybody on."
Pulis is rumoured to be in the market for a striker also, with James Beattie being touted for a Potters exit despite only joining the club this time last year.
Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy is one of those reportedly being lined up by Pulis, but he admits an extraordinary £100,000-per-week offer from West Ham has priced Stoke out of the running.
"As a football club we have enquired about lots of players, but that doesn't mean we are going to sign them," added Pulis.
"I can't comment on West Ham or the player himself, but £100,000 per week? I don't think so."