Roy Keane admits he has no chance of re-signing Jack Colback at present as he seeks to bolster his Ipswich squad.
Keane believes the Tractor Boys are still "two or three players" short if they are to maintain their Championship promotion push.
But the Ipswich boss has admitted Colback will not be returning imminently from Sunderland after the midfielder did well for Ipswich last term.
Asked whether a possible Colback deal was dead in the water, he told Green'Un24: "At the moment it is, yes. There's no news whatsoever, I'm afraid.
"Jack was brilliant for us last year and I have a lot of time for Jack. But if you notice he has been involved in Sunderland's games in the last few weeks.
"He's been on the bench and I speak to Brucey (manager Steve Bruce) on a regular basis, and there's no news on that.
"We have to respect that and focus on what we're trying to do.
"We're still two or three players short of having half-a-chance of staying in that top six. Otherwise it will be tough all season, unless we have a bit of luck with injuries."
Keane added Colback is not the target he has been trying to capture for the last few weeks.
He added: "Jack is not the player I have been trying to bring in.
"Some clubs hold on to the younger players to see how they do in certain games. They'll have injury problems.
"We're pretty close on one (deal), I spoke to a manager this (Monday) morning about another player in a different position and we'll see."