Preston North End striker Jayden Stockley was on Paul Tisdale's shopping list this January, but the MK Dons manager admitted the hot-shot striker had much better options prior to leaving Exeter City.
The 25-year-old had been in rich form at St James Park since Tisdale signed him for the Grecians in 2017, scoring 40 goals in 75 games for the League 2 side.
His 15 goals in 24 league games this campaign put him high up on the list of many clubs, not least Dons as Tisdale eyed a reunion with another Exeter player.
However, with the lure of the Championship Preston could offer, Tisdale admitted signing Stockley was always a long shot.
"I'd loved to have brought Jayden here if I could," said Tisdale. "But I couldn't, based on the opportunities he had – it was pie in the sky to be honest.
"I'm doing my job properly if I'm looking at every best option and exhausting those options, I'm looking to get the best players possible to MK Dons. In that case, I don't think we came close, but I had to try."