Newport Gwent Dragons would like to re-sign Luke Charteris, but coach Kingsley Jones admits they are unlikely to outbid French and English clubs.
The Wales lock, 32, left Dragons for Perpigan in 2012 and then signed for Racing 92 in 2014 on a two-year deal.
The 62-cap 6ft 9in player has been linked with Bath when he comes out of contract at the end of the season.
"We would be interested in Charteris, but it's finances the players make the decision on ultimately," Jones said.
"We spoke to Luke two years ago when he left his previous French club. We did try and get him back at the Dragons.
"The market in France is such that it's really difficult to compete with."
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Recruitment at Rodney Parade has been helped by the Welsh regions increasing their salary cap by £1m each next season to £4.5m.
But despite that rise, the budget available to the Welsh regions is dwarfed by clubs in France and England.
English Premiership sides will have a basic wage limit of £6.5m each for the 2015-16 season - and £7m the season after - but each club can nominate two marquee players to be excluded from the cap, while there is up to £500,000 available in academy credits for English-qualified players.
That in turn is bettered by the £8.6m that French Top 14 clubs can splash on their squads, with players of the calibre of fly-half Dan Carter heading for Racing 92 after helping New Zealand win the World Cup.