Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish remains determined to boost his attack in the January market.
The Mirror says a planned £4million move for Standard Liege's Milan Jovanovic has been aborted because the Serbian striker wants to run his contract out next summer.
But McLeish said: "If we go and spend huge wages on a player or a huge transfer fee, that will only be accepted if the player takes us to another level.
"That is the difficult part, to find that player out there. I think if Lionel Messi was coming, the players might just accept that one.
"The exorbitant prices they're asking for, in terms of transfers and wages, I'm not sure I want to be accountable for that.
"We want to maintain the spirit in the dressing room, I want to enhance the quality in case we have players injured or suspended."