Karl Robinson had hoped to bring Sam Baldock back to the club on loan this January, but heard he is happy at Bristol City.
The 24-year-old striker left stadium:mk in 2011 for then Championship side West Ham. After helping the Hammers to promotion, he moved to Ashton Gate, but City struggled and were relegated last season.
And since returning to League 1, the Robins have struggled and find themselves at the wrong end of the table.
After Dons found out they would lose top scorer Patrick Bamford, Robinson said he enquired about Baldock’s availability.
“He’s a great player and I’d love to have him back,” said Robinson. “I made that phone call to his agent to see if he could come on loan if he wasn’t too happy. But he’s very happy there, he’s scoring goals and a threat for them.
“He knows what I think of him, how talented I think he is. We have the utmost respect for him.
“There’s a good chance he’ll play (on Saturday). I hope he leaves his boots at home!”
Dons reacted quickly to Bamford’s departure, bringing in Everton’s Chris Long just two days later, but Robinson says he is currently stuck in limbo, waiting for other clubs to conduct business before he can make any further moves.
He said: “It has been quite slow and we have to wait for things to manoeuvre at other clubs before we can do anything. And then it’ll be a case of what we can do if we can get players out as well. We have to take it slowly. I hope we can get the timings right.”
However, with Dean Bowditch, Daniel Powell and Luke Chadwick all returning to fitness again after long periods in the treatment room, Dons’ squad is beginning to look a lot more healthy again.
Both Bowditch and Chadwick both hit the back of the net with their returns, but Robinson feels if Dons could’ve kept hold of Bamford, the club would be serious promotion contenders.
He said: “We have moaned about these players not being fit and they’ve shown us why. We have missed them. We just hope we can keep and don’t lose anyone. If we’d kept Patrick Bamford, got Long in and kept these players fit, we’d we a real dark horse to get out the league this year.
“That’s how close I think we were.”