Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick revealed on Friday that his request to sign a striker in January was rejected by the club despite losing Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood during that period.
France forward Martial joined Sevilla on loan while Greenwood was suspended by United over rape and assault allegations.
Rangnick said that Porto's Luis Diaz, Julian Alvarez of River Plate and Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic were on his wishlist but the German was told that "there was no player on the market that could really help us".
Diaz ultimately signed for rivals Liverpool and has been an immediate success, making vital contributions to the club's pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple. Alvarez also signed for one of United's rivals, completing a switch to Manchester City before remaining on loan at River, while Vlahovic joined Juventus and has hit the ground running in Turin, including scoring 33 seconds into his Champions League debut.
"We had four days off at the time and on the Sunday I was informed about the issues with Mason Greenwood and obviously Anthony Martial had already left," Rangnick said ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.
"I was aware that within four days we had some strikers missing and it might make sense, we were still in three competitions - Champions League, FA Cup and fourth in the league. I spoke to the board ... but in the end the answer was no.
"I still believe that we should have at least tried, if we would've found and been able in 48 hours – 48 hours is short notice but it's still 48 hours, it might have been worth to try and internally discuss but we didn't."
United have been reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo for goals - 24 in all competitions - this season, with Edinson Cavani's game time limited due to injury and Marcus Rashford struggling for form.
United, who will welcome Erik ten Hag as their permanent manager in the summer, are currently sixth in the league, five points off the last Champions League spot with two games to play.