West Brom face missing out on Filip Krovinovic with Bologna now in the hunt for the midfielder.
Baggies boss Slaven Bilic has been vocal about his desire to re-sign the Benfica star but hopes are fading that Albion can get a deal done.
Krovinovic played 43 times on loan last term – scoring three goals – to help West Brom return to the Premier League as they finished second in the Championship.
The club have been in discussions for the 25-year-old over a number of weeks but have never made an official offer to the player or Benfica, the PA news agency understands.
LaLiga side Getafe are also keen on Krovinovic, who would like to return to the Midlands but wants his future resolved as soon as possible.
A move to Serie A with Bologna, who came 12th last season, is now a real possibility and there is a growing sense the Baggies will need to act quickly to seal a deal.
Albion would love to get an agreement over the line but face financial constraints and are also trying to strengthen in other areas.
Bilic, who has signed seven players this summer, is desperate to bring Krovinovic back to The Hawthorns but admits he is working within a tight budget.
“I will be extremely disappointed if it doesn’t happen, I don’t even want to think about it,” said Bilic, whose side face Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday.
“Every day when I walk into the training ground I ask about him. Why? Because last year he played a lot of games for us.
“He was brilliant on the pitch. You can be versatile with him on the pitch, you can change systems without changing the players.
“He improved a lot. He started to shoot on goal, to score goals. He got assists. Everybody loves him. He makes every player around him better – he is one of those, a silent or unsung hero.
“That is why every day I ask has he come, is it improving, is it improving? That’s how high I value him.”
Asked why a deal to bring back Krovinovic has yet to materialise, Bilic said: “Budget. We have to find some money for a loan or whatever.
“He (Krovinovic) wants to come. Everybody wants him here. I heard there is a possibility also from Benfica – that is why I am optimistic regarding Filip.
“As I said, I would be very, very disappointed if he doesn’t come back.
“All that I know is that the people inside the club – the people at the training ground on a daily basis – they are doing their best.
“How much resources they have is not a question for me. I am not the financial director.”
Matt Phillips (back) and Conor Townsend (ankle) could be in Bilic’s Premier League squad for the first time this season at Everton having returned for the Carabao Cup win over Harrogate on Wednesday.
Young midfielder Conor Gallagher has joined on loan from Chelsea but fellow new recruit Branislav Ivanovic is still building up his fitness. Ahmed Hegazi (hamstring) and Kenneth Zohore (calf) remain doubts.