Dundee United boss Craig Levein has admitted that the club are unlikely to retain the services of Willo Flood.
The midfielder has been on a season-long loan at Tannadice and has impressed with a number of assured displays for the CIS Cup runners-up.
However, with his parent club Cardiff likely to want to recoup most, if not all, of the £200,000 they paid to land the player from Manchester City two years ago, Levein accepts that the Terrors do not have the financial capabilities to make the move permanent.
"I'd like to keep Willo because he has done well for us but that may prove too expensive to achieve,'' he told The Courier.
"I am realistic enough to recognise that the financial aspects involved would probably be beyond us.''
Meanwhile, Levein is delighted by the progress being made by Luskasz Zaluska following an injury-ravaged first season in Scotland for the Polish keeper.
"Lukasz had a shaky start for us,'' admitted the manager.
"But that perhaps wasn't entirely unexpected.
"Not only was he having to follow in the footsteps of Grzegorz Szamotulski, which anyone would have found difficult, he was also having to overcome the fact that despite being in his mid-20s, he hasn't had a lot of first-team football in his career.
"But, as I thought he would when I signed him, Lukasz has improved as he's gone along and overall I think he's done well for us.
"He's made a couple of errors but also pulled off a few important saves, most notably on Saturday against Motherwell, against Gretna at a crucial time in the game and in the cup final.
"With guys like Lee Wilkie, Darren Dods, Garry Kenneth, Christian Kalvenes, Danny Grainger, Sean Dillon and Michael Kovacevic playing in front of him and the kind of midfield we have, I wouldn't have expected him to lose too many goals.
"Nevertheless I've been pleased with Lukasz."