Hearts may have to put a move for Tsuyoshi Ogashiwa on the back burner until summer.
Sporting director Joe Savage is in negotiations with Consadole Sapporo with the aim of trying to bring the Japanese star to Tynecastle this month.
Reports from last month suggested the player would prefer to stay in the J-League for the remainder of the season.
And now the Daily Record says his club agrees.
However, the 23-year-old, who was first called up by his country, is believed to be keen to at least discuss the move now.
Robbie Neilson wants to add two forwards to his squad this month to take some of the workload off the shoulders of top scorer Liam Boyce.
Armand Gnanduillet will be allowed to leave the club if they can get at least one, while Jamie Walker is in talks with Bradford City over a loan change.
If Consadole can’t be persuaded to sell Ogashiwa this month, it could be reconsidered this summer.
Either way, Neilson will be looking to beef up his attacking options.
Australia’s Nathaniel Atkinson became Hearts’ latest signing yesterday.
The 22-year-old Australian signed a three-and-a-half-year contract after moving to Melbourne city.