Arsenal look set to miss out on three January transfer targets with deals for Ivan Perisic and Yannick Carrasco off, while a move for Christopher Nkunku looks increasingly unlikely.
The Gunners' loan fee offered to Chinese club Dalian Yifang for Carrasco, 25, was deemed too low.
Inter Milan's Perisic, 29, wanted to join on loan but the Italian club would only sanction a permanent move.
Paris St-Germain's Nkunku remains a target but the deal looks unlikely.
Nkunku, 21, has played 15 times for the French champions this season and Arsenal are still trying to finalise a move, but hope of him moving to Emirates Stadium has faded. Unai Emery has already strengthened the midfield position with the loan signing of Denis Suarez from Barcelona.
Finance for loans and not buys
The idea of joining Arsenal appealed to Carrasco - partly because returning to Europe would have suited his family and the Belgium national team - and he was willing to accept a salary reduction.
As Arsenal considered their next move, there was internal upheaval within the club as it was announced head of recruitment Sven Mislintat would leave on 8 February.
Arsenal subsequently decided to focus their search for a wide player on Perisic, offering to take the Croatia winger on loan with an option to buy him at the end of the season.
Perisic, 29, handed in a transfer request but Inter insisted he could only leave permanently or on loan with an obligation to buy.
The Gunners pressed hard to seal the Perisic deal and offered to pay a penalty fee if the loan move did not become permanent in the summer, but Inter were intent on guaranteeing summer transfer.
Arsenal informed their potential recruits that they are not in a financial position to make permanent signings this month or commit now to doing so in the summer.
They are set to have a higher budget in the next transfer window but cannot guarantee potential signings will play in the Champions League or Europa League in 2019-20.