Santos coach Muricy Ramalho admits he is unlikely to succeed in his bid to sign the club's former football stars Robinho and Diego in the January transfer window.
The Brazilian top-flight outfit had identified the pair as priority targets as they attempt to build a squad capable of regaining a berth in South America's elite Copa Libertadores tournament after a disappointing 2012, reports Xinhua.
But Ramalho described the possibility of signing Wolfsburg play-maker Diego as "very difficult" due to the German club's financial demands while Robinho is reportedly intent on staying at Italy's AC Milan.
"It is difficult to see them coming back but we're looking on other fronts, not just those players," Ramalho said.
Robinho's lawyer, Marisa Alija, all but ruled out Robinho's return to the club he has represented during two separate stints.
"We hear lots of speculation but Robinho has a contract with Milan until 2014," Alija said. "He is happy there and well looked after."
"He hasn't said anything to me about going back to Santos next season. He has never hidden the fact that he wants to go back but at this stage has not said when that might be."