Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says the club thought they had signed midfielder Jorginho, who eventually joined Chelsea.
The Italy international was expected to leave Napoli and join the Premier League champions for most of the summer.
However, Jorginho instead opted to reunite with Maurizio Sarri, his former manager in Naples, and move to Chelsea.
When asked how close City had come to signing the 26-year-old, Guardiola said: “We were close but in the end Jorginho decided to stay with Sarri.
“I’ve said before that I want players who want to come here. He didn’t want that. We tried, we believed it was done but at the last turn he decided on Chelsea.
“It’s quite similar to Alexis Sanchez [for whom City were beaten by Manchester United in January]. Nothing to say but good luck at Chelsea. English football has an exceptional holding midfielder.”
While he was gracious enough to wish Jorginho fortune in south-west London, Guardiola did suggest the midfielder could have made his decision known sooner.
“Maybe it was a bit late to announce that but if you decide you don’t come, then don’t come,” he said.
“The blow would be to come here when he prefers Chelsea. Nobody put a gun to his head and said, ‘You have to.'”