Rangers have rejected an approach from Portsmouth for boss Alex McLeish.
McLeish is under increasing pressure at Ibrox
Pompey chairman Milan Mandaric hoped to talk to McLeish as he seeks a successor to departed former boss Alain Perrin.
McLeish's job is on the line after being given a brief stay of execution by Rangers' chairman David Murray, and he is still expected to be sacked.
Rangers chief executive Martin Bain confirmed Portsmouth's approach to speak to McLeish, but said: "Permission was not granted."
Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock is Portsmouth's top target, while Mandaric is refusing to rule out a shock move to bring former boss Harry Redknapp back to Fratton Park.
Rangers are enduring a wretched run of results and McLeish has been told his position will be reviewed after the Champions League match with Inter Milan on 6 December.
McLeish has made it clear he will not walk away and the club did not welcome Portsmouth's approach.
Bain told the club website: "We received an approach by Portsmouth asking permission to hold talks with our manager. Permission was not granted."
Prior to the Rangers rebuff, Mandaric told BBC Scotland: "I rate Alex McLeish very highly and I would love to have the opportunity to speak to him."