Talks between Portsmouth and Gary McAllister have broken down, leaving the Premier League club to continue their search for a new assistant manager.
The 44-year-old, who recently turned down a coaching role with Scotland, was expected to be appointed to Paul Hart's backroom staff on Tuesday but was unable to reach agreement with the club.
According to sources on the south coast, McAllister wanted a much longer contract than Pompey were prepared to offer. The deal to hire McAllister quickly broke down over personal terms.
Hart has rued his failure to recruit McAllister, who has previously managed both Coventry City and Leeds United, telling The News: "We couldn't agree anything. He was the man I wanted so it's disappointing.''
Pompey have lost all of their opening seven games of the season to set an unwanted Premier League record and ensure the worst start to a campaign since Manchester United in 1930.
They have been without an assistant manager since Brian Kidd, now at Manchester City, left the club in the summer.
McAllister was sacked as manager of Leeds in December. He previously had a spell in charge of Coventry.
Meanwhile, Gordon Strachan has emerged as the favourite to succeed Hart at Portsmouth, should the club opt to make a managerial change.
The rumour mill on the south coast is working overtime with Hart's future still very much top of the agenda. Strachan's name was linked to Pompey at the weekend, and it is thought that McAllister was being brought in as Strachan's eventual No. 2.
The intrigue over whether McAllister's appointment was ultimately to link up with Strachan will now never be tested. The official line from Fratton Park is that McAllister was Hart's choice.
The suspicion remains that Hart will be moved upstairs and is being consulted on the structure of the managerial and coaching staff.