Bury boss David Flitcroft has admitted defeat in his bid to lure Wigan goalkeeper Mike Pollitt to the JD Stadium.
Pollitt, 41, was present for Flitcroft's first game in charge last Saturday, after which the new manager revealed he was talking to the Sky Bet Championship club about the possibility of bringing his friend in as part of his backroom staff.
With Ali Al Habsi now fit again following a shoulder injury, Pollitt is probably considered fourth-choice keeper at the DW Stadium and although he took him on loan when he was Barnsley boss earlier in the season, Flitcroft expects the keeper to remain with Uwe Rosler's squad.
"I think that could be dead in the water at the minute," he said.
"We approached Wigan and Mike Pollitt, anyone you speak to in football...he's been so long at one club because of the way he is as a human being. They love him around the place. He's a great supporter of what they're doing.
"Roberto (Martinez) loved him being around, Owen Coyle wanted him to stay there and now Uwe does. It's just one of those things, we'll have to wait until the summer to maybe get his services but he's someone who I'll keep tracking."
Pollitt, who has been with Wigan since 2005, addressed the issue personally in his regular column with the Wigan Evening Post on Friday.
He said: "I was most amused to find myself the subject of some transfer speculation this week - I thought those days were behind me but obviously not!
"In case you missed it, apparently I'm off to Bury as player-goalkeeping coach. Only there's no truth in the story whatsoever.
"Yes, my big pal Dave Flitcroft is their new manager, and yes I did go and watch the Shakers last week. But as far as anything else goes, people have just been putting two and two together and making five.
"It's no secret that one day I'd like to go into coaching, but the truth is there's nothing happening on that score at the moment. I wouldn't rule something like that out in the future, though. You don't know what's around the corner."