Carlisle admit it will be difficult to sign released Sunderland striker Jordan Cook as he courts interest from the Championship.
The 22 year-old was released by the Black Cats last month and was sounded out by the Cumbrians after impressing while on loan at the club last season, scoring four goals in six appearances.
Manager Greg Abbott said he is looking for alternatives with Cook's future undecided.
"The last we heard from Jordan Cook was that he was also talking to a Championship club," Abbott said.
"If everything gets finalised there then it's something he has to do for his own personal development and we accept that.
"We do like Jordan for what he did with us when he was here and it's a situation where the door isn't as open as it was a few weeks ago because he's talking to this Championship club and we have to make sure we are covering all of our own angles."