Geelong AFL list boss Stephen Wells says it's unlikely the Cats will be able to trade for enigmatic duo Jack Watts and Jake Stringer.
The talented Watts has often struggled to deal with the huge expectations that inevitably had come his way after being selected by Melbourne with the No.1 pick in the 2008 draft.
He has been linked with a move to one of three clubs - Port Adelaide, Sydney or Geelong.
Wells told AFL Trade Radio that the Cats had not offered Watts a contract, nor had they committed to trying to trade for him.
"We've had a good conversation with Melbourne and they've made it clear what they'd be expecting from us," Wells said on Wednesday.
"At this stage, we don't think we'd be able to do that deal so we're not going to give Jack any false hope or waste anybody's time."
Watts, 26, is still contracted to the Demons, but coach Simon Goodwin has made it clear it is time for the gifted utility to look for a new footballing home.
Wells also said the Cats were unlikely to be in a position to chase Stringer, who was on the outer at the Western Bulldogs.
The Cats want to hold onto draft pick 20 - and the Bulldogs have made it clear that will not be enough for them to part ways with the 2015 All-Australian forward.
"We investigated Jake and thought we'd be a good club for him," said Wells.
"The problem we were always going to have was trying to do that deal with the Bulldogs."
Essendon remain in the box seat to get Stringer, although they are also chasing Devon Smith from GWS and Gold Coast speedster Adam Saad.
While the chances of Watts or Stringer moving to Geelong are fading, the Cats remain confident of satisfying the demands of Gold Coast to allow Gary Ablett to return to his hometown club.
But Wells reiterated that none of Mitch Duncan, Nakia Cockatoo or Jake Kolodjashnij would be offered up as a part of any trade for the two-time Brownlow medallist.
Port Adelaide shape as another major player in the trade period.
They have considerable interest in Watts and are also well-placed to secure enigmatic Cats forward Steven Motlop, who has close family ties with the SA club.
Motlop has also toured the Suns' facilities on the Gold Coast.
Brisbane are likely to receive pick 18 in the looming national draft as compensation, after declining to match the Power's offer to former Lions skipper Tom Rockliff - a restricted free agent.
"I met with (coach) Ken Hinkley, (captain) Travis Boak and some other key people at Port Adelaide after the season and was really impressed," the 27-year-old Rockliff said in a statement.
"I think the club can be great for me as a footballer and I think I have a lot to offer the club too."