Morecambe FC have missed out on signing Burnley striker Wes Fletcher.
Shrimps boss Jim Bentley has been tracking the 22-year-old free agent but has revealed his frustration after the former Accrington Stanley loanee elected to move to another League 2 club.
Bentley said: “We were hopeful of bringing him (Fletcher) to the club.
“We’ve been chasing him for a while but he’s decided to go elsewhere.
“It’s a frustrating one because it was looking good and he’s got a lot of potential.
“I met him several times and showed him round the ground but for one reason or another he’s not coming here.”
Bentley has also seen Lewis Alessandra become the fifth Shrimps first-team player to leave the club after turning down a new deal.
He is set to sign for another League 2 club having originally agreed to stay with the Shrimps before a change of heart.
Bentley said: “We wish him well.
“I’m just disappointed with the timing. With it being two weeks before pre-season starts it hits my plans.
“I thought we had a good chance of keeping him and then he went on holiday and told me when he got back he’d had another offer.
“It’s disappointing but that’s football and I don’t hold grudges.
“We’ve just got to make sure we get the right people in now.”
Bentley admitted he was finding it difficult to compete with other League 2 clubs for players but was staying positive and focusing on bringing in forwards to replace Alessandra and Jordan Burrow, who left the club for Stevenage last week.
He said: “It’s difficult to compete with other League 2 clubs’ finances, even when it comes to the better non-league players.
“But I’m staying positive and we’ve got a few targets lined up.
“I’m on holiday at the moment so I can’t meet players but I’m working round the clock.
“My concentration is on forwards at the moment.”
One striker who could still have a future at the club is Danny Carlton, who has been invited back for pre-season training after missing the majority of last season through injury.
Bentley said: “I’ve been told he’s flying in the gym and has lost a stone in weight already.
“He’s giving it a real go and could surprise a few people.”