Newcastle have had to scratch two names from their January shopping list after being told to forget about Ajax duo Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Urby Emanuelson.
Manager Glenn Roeder had identified the pair among his potential targets for the winter transfer window as he attempts to strengthen his squad after seeing a relative lack of depth exposed in recent weeks.
However, the Dutch club have issued a hands-off warning to the Magpies over two of their most highly-rated performers.
Roeder said: 'Like a lot of Premiership managers, Huntelaar and Emanuelson are two players I greatly admire, but Ajax are insisting they are not for sale.'
Striker Huntelaar, a Dutch record £6million signing from Heerenveen, and 20-year-old left-back Emanuelson, both played for Holland in their 1-1 draw with England in Amsterdam last week.
The 23-year-old Huntelaar has already played at St James' Park, where he was on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline when Heerenveen lost 2-1 on Tyneside in the second leg of a UEFA Cup third round tie in February 2005.
But he impressed in the first leg, putting his side ahead before goals from Alan Shearer and Lee Bowyer handed the Magpies the advantage in Holland.
However, while Roeder's hopes of landing either man look doomed, his interest suggests the areas in which he will be looking to strengthen.
With Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi on the long-term injury-list and £10million summer signing Obafemi Martins struggling for goals, Roeder does not have a lot of options, while Celestine Babayaro's fitness record has seen central defender Peter Ramage employed as an emergency left-back.
Roeder said: 'We know which parts of our team need strengthening and we will be acting accordingly.'
The club has already been linked with, among others, Manchester United's Alan Smith, Aston Villa midfielder Steve Davis, central defenders Steve Gohouri, Patrick Kisnorbo and Valencia's David Navarro, and former frontman Lomana LuaLua, although none are thought to be genuine targets.
Newcastle face Spaniards Celta Vigo in the UEFA Cup on Tyneside on Thursday knowing a win will clinch their place in the next round.
Roeder was able to call upon Martins for the first time in six matches for the creditable 1-1 draw Arsenal on Saturday and will hope the 22-year-old Nigerian can serve up a second dose of European magic.
The former Inter Milan star scored twice at the Gallowgate End to ease his side past Levadia Tallinn in the first round of the competition.
He has only one Premiership goal to his name so far, but team-mate James Milner is convinced he can have a bright future in English football.
Milner said: 'I have played with some big-hitters in my career so far - people like Mark Viduka, Robbie Fowler and Alan Smith at Leeds and Juan Pablo Angel and Milan Baros at Aston Villa, and then you have Alan Shearer in the last few years here at Newcastle.
'I think Oba can be right up there with them. He is class and he is still only young as well.
'He has been playing for a massive club like Inter Milan at the San Siro in front of thousands.
'Everybody has witnessed how quick he is and he has got good feet.
'We have seen his finishing ability and hopefully he will score many goals at this club.'
Meanwhile, Newcastle are awaiting the results of scans on Damien Duff's knee injury and Craig Moore's hamstring problem.