Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confessed that the Premier League leaders failed with four attempts to convince Tottenham to part ways with striker Harry Kane in the summer.
Kane pushed to leave Spurs and had City as his preferred destination, but those in charge at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium were adamant that he was going nowhere and rejected a bid worth nearly £130m.
City declined to increase their offer, leaving Guardiola without a recognised senior striker heading into the campaign, but the boss has stressed that he had no problem with City's decision.
"I never was, in my 11 or 12 years, disappointed in what the club cannot do in the transfer market," Guardiola said. "I've never created a fire here because I represent the club and the club is always beyond myself by far.
"We tried [to sign Kane] but it was far away to be done because Tottenham was clear this is not going to happen. And when it happens two, three, four times, it's over.
"Now you can say 'Harry Kane didn't come and everything is going well' but at the time I didn't know it. When we lost to Spurs and Leicester in the Community Shield. And I don't know what will happen in the next few weeks.
"The club gave me players and I'm always delighted - and it's then what we can do together. Maybe if we had a proper striker we would play with a striker but with the players we have we have to adapt.
“I know they [the club] do the best for me. When we lose we are sad but nobody is pointing fingers saying: ‘Your fault, your fault, your fault.’ We don’t do that. That’s why I’m happy here. At other clubs when you lose it’s: ‘What’s the problem?’”
City are expected to pursue a striker this summer, when they will also welcome Argentine sensation Julian Alvarez to the club, and Kane's name remains towards the top of their shortlist.
Kane will have two years remaining on his contract at that point, and reports suggest he is yet to commit to staying at the club beyond the end of this season.