Gary Hetherington admits that Leeds Rhinos will probably not be in a position to make any high-profile signings until early next year - and it may only happen once the 2013 Super League season has started.
The club's chief executive has made no secret of the fact they are chasing a top-class centre and believe the solution may lie within the NRL.
The Super League champions have so far failed in bids for Salford's Joel Moon and Keith Lulia of Bradford and, with Australian clubs set to receive a bumper deal from television rights, their counterparts in the northern hemisphere are finding it increasingly difficult to attract players from the NRL.
However, Hetherington remains confident he can land a big-name centre from Down Under, saying: "I have spoken to many NRL clubs directly and player agents and they are all aware of our situation.
"But the likelihood is that our search may extend into the start of the next season.
"It has been well documented that we are looking to add a quality player to our squad for next season.
"The majority of NRL clubs have not started back for pre-season yet and I am sure there will be some movement once teams have had the chance to look at their squads and perhaps need to free up space within their salary cap."