Carlisle boss Greg Abbott admits he will have to turn to alternative targets having missed out on Sunderland striker Martyn Waghorn.
Skysports.com broke news of Waghorn's pending loan switch to Leicester City on Tuesday, leaving Abbott to again rue ill-luck in the transfer market.
Having worked on the deal all summer the Carlisle chief thought he had landed his man, only to see the 19-year-old tempted elsewhere by the prospect of Championship football.
"I am massively disappointed," Abbott told the News and Star.
"It was a target we have been keeping warm all summer but now he is going to a Championship club.
"We got a firm 'go-ahead' from his manager and I spoke to the player yesterday. He was almost apologetic when he said he had to take the opportunity to play in a higher division than ourselves.
"We wish him all the best and thank his club for giving us the opportunity to speak to him. But I am extremely frustrated and more disappointed than the fans can possibly be about this."
Abbott had hoped to bring former Brunton Park favourite Karl Hawley back to the club, only to see the Preston striker elect instead to join ambitious League Two outfit Notts County.