Spain will ask for eurozone aid - but not until it has a clearer picture of the amount of capital its banks need, according to reports.
It comes after a Spanish official denied the government was about to seek an international bailout to help recapitalise its ailing banking system, despite widespread reports an application for financial assistance is imminent.
The country's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has admitted his government cannot afford to fund an estimated 40bn euro (£32bn) bill to prop up Spain's banks.
But Madrid has said it wants to wait until June 21 for the publication of two independent audits of its banking system to decide how much money is needed.
Reports now say Spain insisted on this during a conference call of the eurozone's 17 finance ministers on Saturday.
On Friday night, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rushed to publish its own analysis that said Spain's banks need at least 37bn euro (£30bn) to cope with the slump in property values.
European and IMF officials are reportedly keen to draw a line under speculation about Spain's future before next weekend's general election in Greece, which could see it leave the euro.
The head of Germany's central bank, Jens Weidmann, has urged Spain to seek a bailout if it needs one: "If Spain feels overwhelmed by its financial needs, it should use the instruments which have been created for that."
The recently elected government of Mr Rajoy wants to avoid the embarrassment of a bailout, having already implemented a regime of public sector spending cuts and labour market reforms to bring its budget deficit under control.
Spain is already struggling with rising discontent towards austerity with the eurozone's worst unemployment rate.
Almost 25% of the workforce is unemployed and the rate is above 50% among young Spaniards.
The stress tests carried out by the IMF showed that while Spain's top two banks - BBVA and Banco Santander - remain solid, the rest of the banking structure is struggling.
If the current stress on the system continues "the largest banks would be sufficiently capitalised to withstand further deterioration, while several banks would need to increase capital buffers", the IMF said.
If Madrid feels it has no option but to ask for help, it would mean the eurozone sovereign debt crisis has defied the authorities' desperate attempts to limit the need for rescues to smaller periphery states.
It would also see the eurozone in uncharted waters after two years of turmoil - Spain's economy is the fourth-largest in the eurozone and more than twice the size of Greece's, Ireland's and Portugal's combined.
On Friday, US President Barack Obama urged Europe to act swiftly to fix its banking woes or pay the price.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde also urged European leaders to act without delay to overcome the crisis, warning that "we stand at a crossroads".
Ms Lagarde appeared to respond to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who spoke about long-term plans of rebuilding Europe.
"Policymakers need to lay out and follow a clear roadmap of how to finish the job - not just looking to the next five or 10 years, but looking to the next weeks and months ahead," Ms Lagarde said.