AC Milan have have dropped out of the running to sign Argentina striker Carlos Tevez from Manchester City.
Managing director Adriano Galliani claimed they came "ever so close" to agreeing a deal for the 27-year-old.
The Italian club, who set a 1800 GMT deadline to secure a deal, have instead signed Maxi Lopez from Catania on loan.
"If someone had asked me at 5.30pm who would be coming, I'd have said Tevez. It was heart in mouth stuff right up to the deadline," Galliani said.
Earlier this week City criticised Milan for the way they had gone about trying to sign the Argentine striker, while Inter Milan and French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain both withdrew from the race to sign Tevez after having bids turned down by City.
Tevez has not played for City since September and his dispute with the club has so far cost the Argentine £9.3m in wages, fines and lost bonuses.
Tevez's adviser, Kia Joorabchian, told talkSPORT that he expected his client to remain at City until the next transfer window in June and Galliani has not ruled out making another bid in the summer.
"We've left things well with City and the misunderstandings have been overcome," he said.
"The market opens again in four months, so perhaps it will be just a few months of separation with 'Carlitos'.
"I did everything I could to bring him in."
Lopez, who had been waiting on a Tevez decision, was signed on a loan deal that gives AC Milan the chance to buy the player outright at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old played alongside Tevez at youth level for Argentina.
Tevez, who is currently in Argentina, has not played for City since they beat Birmingham on 21 September.
City boss Roberto Mancini alleged he refused to come off the substitutes' bench in September's Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich, while the player maintained there had been a misunderstanding.
An internal club investigation concluded that Tevez, who joined City in July 2009, was guilty of five breaches of his contract and he was fined four weeks' wages, reduced to two following intervention from the Professional Footballers' Association.