St Johnstone are playing hard ball as Dundee United attempt to open talks to lure McDiarmid manager Tommy Wright to Tannadice.
The Tangerines are, of course, on the hunt for a new boss after parting company with Jackie McNamara last week.
Wright, who guided his side to a thumping 5-1 victory over league leaders Aberdeen on Saturday, is a prime target to take over in the Tannadice hot-seat.
However, Saints chairman Steve Brown is determined to keep hold of the Ulsterman who secured Scottish Cup success against United last year and is under contract until 2017.
The Perth supremo is understood to be demanding that the Tangerines thrash out a compensation agreement before he would even contemplate granting permission for them to open talks with Wright.
The Tangerines need a new man in place sooner rather than later with their latest defeat at Partick Thistle at the weekend leaving them rooted to the foot of the Premiership table.
Wright, who has taken Saints into Europe twice since succeeding Steve Lomas, is believed to be United’s No.1 target although others including Mixu Paatelainen, John Hughes at Inverness Caley Thistle and former Motherwell manager Stuart McCall have also been linked with the post.
However, ex-West Brom manager Alan Irvine has ruled himself out of the running.