Shrewsbury boss Graham Turner has revealed he came agonisingly close to ending his long search for a new striker last week.
Turner has been in the market for a forward since the January transfer window opened and now has until Thursday night to identify a new target and seal a deal, or he will have to wait until the loan window reopens in early February.
It comes with Town - boasting the eighth meanest defence in the third tier - ranked 20th out of the 24 teams in League One when it comes to their goalscoring exploits, hitting the net 31 times in 30 league games.
"I was as close as I could be on Friday afternoon and in the end the player decided he didn't want to come out on loan after we had agreed with his club and it had all looked set up," Turner said after Saturday's goalless draw at home to Bury.
"You get these near misses, you get the disappointments, you get the frustrations of what we wanted to do.
"Early on in the month we might have set the bar too high on what we required, there were certainly players available we could have brought in. But whether they would have improved us would have been another matter.
"We've tried to be selective and that will continue. We've got until Thursday and then seven days after that the emergency loan window reopens. It's obvious we need strengthening but anyone who comes in has got to improve the team."