Motherwell manager Stuart McCall admits there is "very little" chance of agreeing a short-term deal with James McFadden amid the financial uncertainty surrounding the Scottish game.
The Scotland forward, who was released by Everton, joined his former-team mates on the first day of pre-season in a bid to get fit for the new campaign. Motherwell have lost a number of players from last season, with influential midfielder Steve Jennings set to follow, without bringing anyone in.
And McCall told MFCTV: "We're allowing James to train which is good but there is very little chance of him joining us obviously. Unless he wants to play centre-half and play for nothing! Losing Clancy and Craigan, it's imperative we get a centre-back in."
McCall had already seen a £200,000 cut to his budget before the increased financial uncertainty sparked by the collapse of Rangers and his priority is to bring in a defender after Stephen Craigan retired and Tim Clancy left for Hibernian.
Also at training on Thursday was Simon Ramsden, a defender who has not accepted a new contract offer from Bradford on reduced terms following injury problems.
McCall added: "Steve Jennings, through his agent, told us last week he probably wouldn't be back. Maybe a lot of what's happening with Scottish football at the moment is going through his head. So we are three down and we let Ross Forbes, Gary Smith, young (Steven) Lawless, (Ross) McKinnon and (Jordan) Halsman go.
"We are threadbare to say the least. If we compare it with other SPL clubs it might be similar. With what's on the horizon with the Rangers business clubs are going to have to cut their cloth accordingly. It's not ideal preparation for the Champions League but we just have to get on with it."
McCall warned Motherwell fans not to expect the quality of signings they have been accustomed to in recent times.
"Last season we were fighting with League Two and some non-league clubs in terms of wages," he said. "Now I can't even get near anyone's wages down there. Gone are the days of bringing up a Nicky Law or a Steve Jennings.
"Don't get me wrong, there are still lads in England that would like to play in Scotland. The selling point used to be playing against the Old Firm and being on TV a lot and putting themselves in the shop window. But it's biting everywhere, Scottish football financially is struggling."