Reading boss Brian McDermott has confirmed that he tried and failed with moves for Wayne Bridge, Keith Andrews and Craig Mackail-Smith before the transfer deadline.
The Royals are set to be taken over by Anton Zingarevich, who promised McDermott funds even before his move to the club was rubber-stamped.
And McDermott was ready to use some of that funding, but a few deals failed to materialise.
"We missed out on a couple who went to the Premiership, so we're talking about good players," he said.
"We spoke about Wayne Bridge and he went to Sunderland. I spoke to his agent and to Man City, I think we could have done it.
"We'd have paid a small percentage of his wages, but that's gone now, he made his decision and good luck to him."
He also confirmed enquiries for Brighton striker Mackail-Smith and Andrews, who joined West Bromwich Albion.
"Mackail-Smith would be very, very expensive. We investigate a lot of people, we didn't follow through on that one," he said.
"I know Keith Andrews and his agent, we had a conversation but he had the opportunity to go to West Brom on a six-month deal in the Premiership.
"So we knew all the situations going on, Maynard went to West Ham for three-and-a-half years, a lot of money, you know all the players who are out there, as I do."