Kevin Keegan is demanding final say on transfers if he is to return to Newcastle United, it has been revealed.
The Sun says Keegan met Newcastle owner Mike Ashley at the Piccadilly HQ of a top London lawyer for talks over a possible return.
But by late evening, as both men retired to different restaurants after lengthy discussions, hopes of a dream new start looked to be fading.
Ashley wanted Keegan back as boss after his walk-out and the Toon idol was prepared to bury the hatchet.
But the pair could not compromise over Keegan's demands that he should have the final say on transfers.
Keegan had also pushed for the removal of director of football Dennis Wise and vice-president Tony Jiminez, yet could not win the day.
The League Managers Association admitted the duo's talks had 'failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion'.
Word from the Keegan camp was no further discussions were planned and, unless there was a major climbdown by Newcastle, any chance of a return to the club he left just nine days ago was over.
A Newcastle insider confirmed: "Kevin made it clear he needed a lot of changes to take place.
"Talks were obviously very difficult and not always face-to-face."
The biggest hurdle would have surrounded Wise's role.
The insider added: "You'd imagine someone would have had to go if Keegan came back or they would have had to agree Keegan had the last word."