Michael Boulding has informed Lincoln City he has no intention of joining them from Mansfield, as he is confident of landing a deal at a League One club.
Following Mansfield's relegation to the Blue Square Premier last season, 25-goal striker Boulding made clear his intention to quit the club for pastures new.
Boulding agreed to engage in transfer talks with Imps assistant boss Iffy Onuora but has concluded his future lies elsewhere.
"Iffy went to see Michael in Sheffield and he made it clear that he would like to play as high as he possibly can which is League One or above," Lincoln boss Peter Jackson told the Lincolnshire Echo.
"Obviously, that rules us out of the equation, which is a shame because I really wanted to bring him here as well as well as many other managers in this league.
"Naturally, it's very disappointing that he doesn't look likely to be coming here, because he was someone who I thought would give us an added dimension. But it's not to be so we shall now have to look elsewhere."
While all but conceding defeat in his bid to land Boulding, Jackson is more confident of signing Chesterfield defender Janos Kovacs.
It is expected a tribunal will be needed to decide the fee as 22-year-old Kovacs rejected a new deal at Saltergate but the two clubs cannot concur on a mutually satisfactory figure.