Coventry look set to be scuppered in their plans to bring James McPake on board in January.
The Sky Blues have already sealed a pre-contract agreement with the Livingston defender, with that deal set to go through in the summer.
However, the Championship outfit were hoping to get their man in the New Year in exchange for a nominal fee.
That now appears unlikely, though, as Coventry are reluctant to meet Livingston's demands.
"We have been talking to Livingston but they are asking for an unrealistic fee," said Sky Blues chairman Ray Ranson.
"At the moment all they can see is pound signs from south of the border.
"But we are not going to go back to the bad old days and will do things in our own way, sticking to our plan, particularly in today's economic climate.
"We have already signed the boy on a three-year deal and he wants to come. It's a bit like owning a house and not being able to live it."