Nottingham Forest have failed to agree a deal with Charlton Athletic to bring Paul Hart back to the club.
Hart, 58, told BBC East Midlands Today that Forest were keen to discuss a technical director role at the City Ground, where he managed from 2001-04.
But the Addicks were thought to want more than £500,000 in compensation for their current academy director.
And Forest have said they are not in a position to pay out to replace ex-boss Steve McClaren, who left last week.
The Reds have said they are eager to appoint their new manager before their next Championship fixture, against Coventry City, on Saturday, 15 October.
But they are are understood to be unable or unwilling to pay a hefty compensation package to secure their new boss.
Hart joined Charlton in June after an unsuccessful 11-game stint in charge at Swindon Town.