Al Wasl manager Diego Maradona has revealed that the Dubai-based club are unlikely to beat Shanghai Shenhua to Didier Drogba's signature.
UEFA Champions League winner Drogba is currently considering a big-money contract to join Shenhua.
But Al Wasl were reported to be preparing an offer to lure the 34 year-old to the Middle East instead of China.
Maradona has been quick to quell the rumours, though, admitting that the club's wage structure could not accommodate the type of money Shenhua are prepared to pay Drogba.
"If we had a large budget, yes it is possible to attract someone like Drogba. But I don't think the budget in mind is available here," the Argentine legend was quoted as saying on Gulfnews.com.
"I've read a lot about Drogba's future and I've come to believe he's on the verge of signing for that Chinese team who have offered him millions. I don't think we can match those figures.
"[Having] Drogba at Al Wasl is a dream and if it does come true it will be the best thing ever."