Muricy Ramalho has acknowledged that Florent Malouda would be a quality addition for Santos but admitted the Chelsea winger's wage demands are "scary".
The 32-year-old is widely expected to leave Stamford Bridge after a mixed season in which he featured infrequently under both Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo.
Earlier in the week, Santos vice-president Odilio Rodrigues confirmed that talks with Malouda had already taken place, but Ramalho insists the France international must compromise with the club in order to move to the Vila Belmiro.
"Malouda was offered to us," he told reporters. "He is a very interesting player, but you get scared when they tell your their demands.
"They say they are in crisis in Europe, but they spend so much money on transfers there. He was offered to us, but when you think about his wages, it gets hard.
"He is a very good player, an old-school midfielder who can hold the ball and set the tone in attack."
Malouda, who signed for Chelsea in 2007, has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of former AC Milan ace Clarence Seedorf, who joined Botafogo, in moving to South America as he is married to Florencia, a Brazilian national.