Manchester City have missed out on French international Ousmane Dabo.
After confirming his intention to quit Lazio this summer, Dabo immediately expressed a desire to join City, whose manager Stuart Pearce is attempting to bolster his squad with as many as five close-season signings following last week's arrival of Paul Dickov.
However, it is understood talks between the Blues and Dabo have now ended, with City failing to come up with a deal which would satisfy the 29-year-old.
It has been suggested Bolton could be interested in Dabo, although the prospect of a move to the Reebok Stadium has also been ruled out by the player's advisor Willie McKay.
'We are speaking to three clubs apart from City and Bolton,' said McKay.
'Ousmane is one of the best Bosman signings available in Europe this summer and he has expressed his intention to play in the Premiership.
'He did admit he fancied playing at City but now we are looking at other options and hopefully something will be sorted out in the next couple of weeks or so.'
The news leaves Pearce to continue his search for new recruits, with Sochaux defender Souleymane Diawara and former Leeds full-back Ian Harte, desperate to return to England following two years in Spain with Levante, among the latest players to be linked with the Eastlands club.
So far, only Dickov has been signed, to a general lack of enthusiasm from the Blues faithful, who feel the 33-year-old's capture, four seasons after he was shown the door by former manager Kevin Keegan, represents a step backwards.
Yet Pearce is convinced he is getting much more than an experienced striker to compete for a place alongside Andy Cole, Darius Vassell and Georgios Samaras.
The Blues chief has seen enough of Dickov's spiky spirit to know what a positive influence the former Scotland international can be on the training ground.
'If every player possessed the same mental approach to the job as Paul my job would be a bit easier,' Pearce told the Manchester Evening News.
'From the first moment I spoke to him I could see he was desperate to get back to City.
'He would have run over me and torn down the door to sign for this club.
'We know what we will get from him. He is a player with a top flight mentality and he will raise the tempo in training and in matches.'