WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko appears to have ruled out being David Haye's comeback opponent.
Haye, the former undisputed cruiserweight and WBA heavyweight champion, will announce his return to boxing at a press conference on Thursday having not fought since stopping domestic rival Dereck Chisora inside five rounds in their grudge match last July.
Haye has stated on several occasions since then that only a fight with either of the Klitschko brothers, who hold all four recognised world titles, would tempt him back into the ring.
But IBF, WBO and WBA champion Wladimir, who comfortably beat the Londoner in 2011 on points, will face Francesco Pianeta in May and WBC belt-holder Vitali has now said Haye must wait his turn.
He told the BBC Ukrainian Service: "If David wants to fight, he has to wait because I have to defend my title against an official contender. After that maybe.
"If David Haye has [a] high [enough] position on the world rankings, we can fight each other but it will not be soon. The fight against David Haye is not everything for me."
With David Price also ruled out because of an upcoming rematch with Tony Thompson, Alexander Povetkin - the WBA's 'regular' titleist - seems the most likely choice of opponent for Haye, with Britain's Tyson Fury another possibility.
A victory could put him closer to a fight with one of the Klitschko brothers, though Vitali appears to be losing patience with the 32-year-old.
He added: "Last September I gave a proposal to David Haye to fight me in Moscow. David Haye had a contract and didn't want to do that and instead of fighting me he fought Chisora.
"How long [should] I have to wait for David Haye? I gave him a proposal and he didn't take it.
"David Haye had the chance to fight my brother. Many times he ran away but Vladimir beat him.
"David did not agree with the decision, tried to make excuses and just talked about his leg not giving him the chance to beat my brother."
Haye may have to reapply for his British Boxing Board of Control licence after fighting under the Luxembourg Boxing Federation banner against Chisora, with the BBBoC refusing to sanction their bout as a result of a shameful brawl between the pair in Munich in February 2012.
Since his triumph over compatriot Chisora, Haye appeared in ITV reality show 'I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!'
Tags: Vitali Klitschko , David Haye , Klitschko-Haye , Klitschko vs Haye