Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Somyot Poompunmuang insists he wants Milovan Rajevac to stay on as head coach after reports emerged that at least one club from China was interested in the Serbian.
But Somyot admitted that the FAT would be unable to compete financially with any Chinese Super League (CSL) sides, and a parting of the ways may be inevitable if the interest from China results in a firm offer.
Rajevac has become increasingly frustrated by the delay in being offered an improved and extended deal after six months in the job. The former Ghana boss would like to stay in the role, but he has indicated that he will now listen to other offers, with just another six months of his one-year contract to run.
"It will be his [Rajevac's] decision," said Somyot, as reported in the Bangkok Post. "We cannot afford to pay him large sums of money, but if he wants to stay, it will be a great pleasure for us.
"Right now, we can see that some teams in the CSL are spending big amounts of money to bring some good players and coaches. If Rajevac wants to go for financial or any other reasons, we will have to let him go."
But Somyot remains confident that the former Ghana boss is in it for the long haul, having drawn up plans for 2018.
"I believe that he will not go anywhere because he has just submitted his plan for the national team to me," Somyot said.
"Rajevac wants to take the national team to Europe. He believes that countries drawn to face Japan, South Korea, Iran or Saudi Arabia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be looking for some warm-up matches with Asian teams. His plan gives me hope that he will stay."