Harry Redknapp admitted Tottenham Hotspur's chances of signing Sergio Aguero were slim at best.
Redknapp spent the majority of transfer deadline day holed up in his office at Spurs' training ground trying to add at least one name to his squad.
In the end there were no arrivals at White Hart Lane, despite bids to sign Charlie Adam, Phil Neville, Villarreal's Giuseppe Rossi and Atletico Madrid duo Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan.
Tottenham are thought to have lodged an audacious club-record £38.5million bid for Aguero, but the Argentina hotshot opted instead to renew his contract with the Spanish side.
And Redknapp confirmed the Londoners did not expect to land the 22-year-old star, saying: "There was never a chance of getting him really, was there?
"It sounded good but it wasn't going to happen."
Tottenham also made a last-ditch attempt to sign Blackpool's Adam, but the move fell through because two of the club's main shareholders did not sign the necessary paperwork to sanction the £7million deal.
And Redknapp did not rule out making another bid for the midfielder this summer, adding: "You never know. We'll see how we go and what the rest of the season brings."
Tottenham's rivals produced big-money signings on deadline day - namely Chelsea's double capture of Fernando Torres and David Luiz and Liverpool's of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.
And those transfers have made Tottenham's push for a place in next year's UEFA Champions League much harder, according to their manager.
"The more you look at it, the more you realise just how tough it is," Redknapp said.
"A month ago, people were saying that Chelsea were going to drop out of the top four and suddenly Mr Abramovich said, 'I don't think so' and went out and bought two unbelievable players.
"I could see them being very close to winning the championship. Liverpool could be pushing for top four now too. I wouldn't write them off."