Werder Bremen say it will be "impossible" to replace the departed Mesut Ozil by bringing Brazilian playmaker Diego back to the club from Juventus.
Diego departed Bremen for Serie A last summer in a £21.5 million deal and the Bundesliga side have been deprived of his successor as playmaker-in-chief following Tuesday's news that Ozil has completed his transfer to Real Madrid.
But although Diego has failed to impress at Juve and has been targeted by Wolfsburg, Bremen say they will not be able to afford their former player, who enjoyed three hugely successful years at Weserstadion.
"We have got to remember why he left a year ago," director of sport Klaus Allofs said. "Sure, he was happy here, but he was given the chance to play at Juve and earn far more money and they are wages that we cannot pay.
"We cannot buy a player back like him, no matter how attractive it sounds. Financially, it is impossible."
Allofs expects Ozil to be a success at Real Madrid following a World Cup in which the 21-year-old proved to be integral to the German side thanks to his creative streak and expert passing and vision.
"Given the way he plays football, he would do well in any league in the world," Allofs said. "Yes, he is still young and a bit reserved and he will have to learn a new language and that will not make it easy to start with, but we don't have any doubts that he will make it there."