Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom has admitted the club's pursuit of Reading striker Marc McNulty has stalled.
Speaking ahead of the Capital club's Betfred Cup opener away to Stirling Albion, Heckingbottom - who is still seeking reinforcements but appears to have given up on Scunthorpe midfielder Funso Ojo - said that a deal could still be possible but things would have to change.
"We can't get it done at the minute. It'll cost too much money," Heckingbottom confirmed.
The 26-year-old returned to his former youth club in January on loan from the Royals, hitting eight goals in 17 appearances as Hibs hit the ground running under Heckingbottom and assistant Robbie Stockdale following the departure of Neil Lennon.
But while Hibs and the player, who received his first Scotland caps as a result of his former for the Easter Road, are keen on a deal that would see him return to the Scottish Premiership side, Reading are holding out for a sizeable fee for McNulty, having shelled out a seven-figure sum to sign him from Coventry last summer.
Heckingbottom continued: "We're not in a position to do it [at the moment], because either we've not got enough finance, or what [Reading] are asking is too much."
"If either of those change, then maybe [a deal will be possible]."
Hibs have already brought in Welsh forward Christian Doidge from Forest Green Rovers and can call on Florian Kamberi and Oli Shaw up front.