Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison has not given up hope of landing Keith Watson on an extended deal.
The Scottish defender returned to St Johnstone following the end of his loan last week.
And while the block has been put on any additions to the squad for the time being, Harrison is hopeful that Watson might be sent back down to aid Pools' National League cause before the end of the month.
Harrison also wants a deal done for Jonathan Franks, whose contract ended on Wednesday and is now free to sign for other clubs.
"Their deals have ran out and we are doing what we can to renegotiate and re-sign them," said the manager.
"Am I confident we can? I do not know. It is not in my hands.
"I would love to. They have been great players who have contributed at both ends of the pitch and been great for the less experienced players.
"It was always my number one target to keep them. And I will be passing that on to the powers that be."
Watson could well be reintegrated into the Saints squad under Tommy Wright, which would be no bad thing for Pools.
Should he make an appearance for the Perth outfit in this weekend's Scottish Cup, he would be unable to sign for another club before the end of the season.
His only options would be to stay up north with the Scottish Premiership outfit or to come back to Victoria Park.
Franks has meanwhile been interesting National League North outfit York City.