Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has admitted there is no way the Absa Premiership champions can compete with English sides for the signature of Steven Pienaar.
The 34-year-old midfielder is a free agent after parting ways with Everton at the end of last season, leading to suggestions that he could be lured back to South Africa ahead of the 2016/17 season.
Mosimane recently admitted his interest in signing the former Bafana Bafana international, but it looks increasingly unlikely that the player will be leaving England anytime soon.
Pienaar has been training with David Moyes' Sunderland in a bid to get back to full fitness and potentially earn an extended stay at the Stadium of Light.
"It was always about what he wanted to do next before we jumped the gun and tried to sign him because now we hear he is in Sunderland," Mosimane told Times Live.
"Do you want to compete [with that kind of money]? Obviously not.
"If he is there [on-trial in Sunderland] it means he still wants to play one more year in Europe.
"So really, I understand why he always said in interviews that he wanted to make up his mind. He didn't want to answer quickly and put himself in a difficult position.
"Probably he knew there was a chance to go back to Europe."
The Johannesburg-born Pienaar represented Ajax Cape Town for two seasons before making the switch to the Urban Warriors' parent club, Ajax Amsterdam.
He subsequently went on to play for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, before turning out for Everton and Tottenham Hotspur in England's top flight.