Bristol City boss Gary Johnson has revealed that he tried to bring Leroy Lita back to Ashton Gate.
The Robins made two approaches for the Reading striker, but were foiled on both occasions.
Johnson admits he was keen to bolster his attacking options and had identified former City ace Lita as a prime candidate.
However, Royals manager Steve Coppell was not prepared to part with the ex-England U21 international at any cost.
"We made an enquiry about him and, with dignity, Steve Coppell said he didn't want Leroy coming back to Bristol," Johnson told the club's official website.
"Then when we asked about Leroy's availability again, we were told he was in the immediate first-team plans.
"We knew we weren't in the race. The manager didn't want him coming back here, more to the area than the club I think.
"He's gone to Norwich because Reading have now allowed him out."
Lita joined the Canaries on a one-month loan deal at the start of October after falling out of favour at Madejski Stadium.
He had previously enjoyed a goal-laden two-year spell with Bristol City between 2003 and 2005, before being sold to Reading.