Neil Warnock has revealed some players turned down joining Cardiff City on transfer deadline day because of the disappearance of Emiliano Sala.
Record signing Sala and pilot David Ibbotson remain missing after the Piper Malibu plane carrying them over the English Channel disappeared on January 21, two days after the Argentinian striker completed a £15million move from Nantes.
The search for the pair continues with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch having commissioned a specialist vessel to carry out a survey of the seabed.
It has been an emotional period for Cardiff, who play their first home game since Sala’s disappearance against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Warnock did strengthen his squad on Thursday by signing the versatile Leandro Bacuna from Reading for around £3million, but the Cardiff manager said attempts to sign a striker proved in vain.
“One or two of the strikers we were talking about didn’t really want to come in the circumstances,” Warnock said.
“They didn’t want to come in after what’s happened. So it’s been a very difficult window.”
Apart from Bacuna, Cardiff’s only other deadline day signing was Haverfordwest forward Danny Williams, who will join the club’s under-23 squad.
Warnock also said that attempts to bolster his squad were thwarted by the “astronomical” figures that he had been quoted for players.
“Overall, that’s probably as good a window as we expected with the targets we achieved and the circumstances,” he said.
“We could probably have done with another one but we weren’t going to have a gun put to our heads.
“For one lad abroad we were looking at, and the sort of finances we were talking about, you’d have thought he had been playing for his country on a regular basis.
“When they start talking the sort of money I paid for Bacuna for a signing-on fee and an agent’s fee, I don’t think we’re into that.
“I wouldn’t jeopardise the club or the owners by condoning that, so we had to pull a plug on a couple of deals.
“One of the deals was possibly close, but it was astronomical in the end.
“Things seemed to change every day. Whether they were pushing on our circumstances, I don’t know, but we pulled out.”
Cardiff will pay respect to Sala and Ibbotson before kick-off on Saturday with a series of tributes.
Both captains will lay floral tributes and there will be what the club have termed “a minute’s reflection” for the missing pair.
“Whatever the families want or think, we’ll adhere to that,” Warnock said.
“We have had to get back to playing. And once we get this weekend out the way and we can move on, we have to regroup.
“We have to come up with a formula to get points on the board. People will write us off and quite rightly so.
“Other clubs have players like (Solomon) Rondon and (Alexander) Mitrovic, doing what they are doing, but we don’t have one of them.
“So it is more difficult for us, we have to make our own luck now and really have a go.”