Aston Villa manager David O'Leary must look elsewhere to complete his summer spending after discovering last night that he had missed out to Blackburn Rovers on his main big-name target.
The controversial Craig Bellamy has spurned both Villa and his old Coventry City manager, Gordon Strachan, at Celtic by opting to join the growing band of his Welsh compatriots at Ewood Park in a £5.5 million deal.
Villa were prepared to pay a similar price for Bellamy and would have had no qualms about matching his top- level wage demands.
But the Welsh striker, in need of a few friends after the way things went sour for him under Graeme Souness at Newcastle, has chosen to surround himself with familiar faces.
Villa had hoped to succeed where Birmingham City had failed by landing Bellamy, Blues having agreed a fee with Newcastle in January, only for the player to turn them down.
Celtic and Strachan were interested in making a permanent move for Bellamy, but his desire for Premiership football was too great.
He signed a four-year deal with Blackburn, linking up again with Mark Hughes, his former manager with Wales.
He is also reunited with two fellow sons of the Principality and former Blues employees, Blackburn coach Mark Bowen and Robbie Savage.
Ironically, Villa's failure to sign a striker came on a day when their main rivals moved a big step closer to signing Walter Pandiani in a £2.7 million deal.
Real Zaragoza were Blues' main rivals for the Uruguayan striker but that deal now appears to have collapsed over a financial disagreement.
The latest development leaves Blues in pole position to complete the deal and make Pandiani the second former loan striker this summer to make a permanent move to St Andrew's.
Meanwhile, Blues are reported to have rejected a £800,000 approach for reserve striker Robbie Blake from Leeds United.