Derby County manager Billy Davies has warned Preston North End he is close to calling off his pursuit of former number two David Kelly.
Kelly worked under Davies at Deepdale but was placed on gardening leave when the Scot moved to Pride Park last summer and made an approach for his Preston assistant.
Davies guided the Rams to promotion to the Premier League without an assistant but has warned North End chairman Derek Shaw that his patience with his former club's stance is wearing thin.
"My chairman is speaking to the Preston chairman and we're hoping to reach an agreement with regard to bringing David Kelly here as my assistant," he admitted.
"I have told David that I have spoken to two other candidates, which means I have three good options for my assistant, and he understands that the situation needs to be resolved quickly.
"To put it bluntly we are at breaking point, and we're talking days now, certainly we want this resolved by the weekend.
"It's fair to say Derby and Preston have reached an agreement but the sticking point seems to be the situation between David Kelly and Derek Shaw.
"I get the feeling that if Preston were not my former club this situation would have been sorted out by now and, without wishing to be clever about things, now that we've been promoted to the Premier League and are in a different division to Preston perhaps that will make a difference."