However, he failed in a £5million bid to sign Hull winger Stephen Hunt and also saw a move for Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne fall through when the 18-year-old rejected a switch to the Black Country.
McCarthy's only dealings in January saw him bring in midfielder Adlene Guedioura and winger Geoffrey Mujangi Bia - both on loan from Charleroi.
McCarthy, who paid a club record £6.5million to sign striker Kevin Doyle from Reading last summer, said: "We would have liked to do some more business and we were prepared to break it (our transfer record).
"In Adlene and Geoffrey we have signed two really good players and we tried our damnedest to get other players in.
"We tried to make other signings but we can't force people to come, and we can't force people to sell them. We had contingencies in place as well. But Plan B got scuppered and Plan C got scuppered.
"I won't discuss who they are but we have had bids in for lots of players.
"They have all been batted back and there is not a thing that we can do about it.
"We offered to pay over the odds on three or four players, maybe even more.
"You have to do it in this window and we have been prepared to do it.
"But they either don't want to come or clubs don't want to sell. There has to be a cut-off point as well.
"If someone gets put way, way beyond you then there has to be some common sense shown as well.
"It is also a case of them not being for sale or on other occasions they
don't want to come.
"It is also only right and proper that they put the prices up.If someone came to us and said they wanted to sign the likes of Kevin Doyle, Karl Henry, Wayne Hennessey, Marcus Hahnemann, Jody Craddock, I am not going to sell them."
With the transfer window now slammed shut, McCarthy knows the players at his disposal are the ones who will have to secure the club's Premier League survival.
Before returning to their survival fight against Birmingham at St Andrew's on Sunday, McCarthy wants to book a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The former Sunderland boss dismisses the notion a cup run would be a distraction.
He continued: "Crystal Palace are our next opponents and that is all we can look at.
"We have to be as single-minded as that.
"It will be a really tough game.If we can get through then we can look
forward to something else.
"The next tie for either club is very attractive.
"If we go down there and win, no-one will say it is a distraction.
"We would then all be looking forward to the next round.
"It is not taxing us too much. We want to stay in the cup and it is not
going to be a distraction."