Newport County manager Terry Butcher says the club's financial constraints means they have no hope of signing Danny Gabbidon or Alan Tate.
Former Wales defender Gabbidon and former Swansea City defender Tate are available on free transfers.
Butcher is desperate to add experienced defenders to his young squad but admits the pair's wage demands are beyond County's reach.
"They are very much outside our price range. A long way," he said.
Butcher was also asked about the possibility of singing Darcy Blake but said he was unaware of the former Wales, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Newport defender.
Gabbidon recently signed as a player-coach for local club Panteg, who play in Welsh Division Three. The 36-year-old, who has won 49 caps, was released by Cardiff City at the end of last season and turned down an opportunity to sign for Leyton Orient in July.
Tate, 33, is also a free agent after his 12-year spell with Swansea ended in May. He spent last season on loan with League One side Crew Alexandra.
Butcher hopes to strengthen his squad, depleted by injuries, when the window for loan signings opens on Wednesday.
He said he needs "men" rather than promising youngsters, but admits Newport's bargaining power is limited.
"We can't afford to make a mistake on a loan player because we haven't got that money," he said.
"If you go into the market once we'll maybe only have a couple of hundred pounds per week so you're limited on who you can bring in.
"We'd be paying a fraction of their wages."