Bank of America may extend its search for a new chief executive into next year if its board is unable to pick a candidate in the next four days, according to a report on the Bloomberg News website.

The story cites unnamed people familiar with the matter who had spoken to Bloomberg ahead of a November 20 meeting about the search for a replacement for outgoing CEO Kenneth Lewis.

Bloomberg said that at least four external candidates including Citigroup director Michael O' Neill had rebuffed approaches about the job.

The report said that directors may go extend a November 26 target date for an appointment and beyond Lewis' expected December 31 retirement date. A representative for Bank of America was not immediately available for comment.

The Wall Street Journal had reported on Friday that Lewis may delay his retirement beyond year-end if his replacement is not found by then.

Bloomberg said that the company is under pressure to pick somebody who would take a low enough pay package that it would win approval from the Treasury Department paymaster, citing the unnamed sources.

It said other executives who did not want to take the job include William Winters, former investment banking co-head at JPMorgan Chase , US Bancorp Chief Executive Richard Davis and Eugene McQuade, who oversees Citigroup's largest banking subsidiary.

BofA's Lewis will receive no more pay for 2009 and will have more than $1 million of his prior compensation clawed back, according to a deal struck by the U.S. government's pay czar Kenneth Feinberg.