Southampton attempted to sign Manchester United target Memphis Depay during the summer transfer window, according to Saints' assistant manager Erwin Koeman.
Depay, 20, was tipped to follow Louis van Gaal to Old Trafford following Netherlands' World Cup campaign in the summer but was convinced to remain at PSV Eindhoven for another season.
Southampton were another side vying for his signature but a lucrative new contract offer from the Dutch giants convinced him to reject the south coast club, a move Koeman believes would have benefited the explosive winger.
"We made enquiries with his agent," Koeman told Dutch outlet Metro. "With his style, he would fit well in England. Memphis is fast, focused and physically strong. Southampton would have been an excellent springboard for him to the very top of the Premier League.
"Here he would have had time to get used to the level and would have had two Dutch coaches who have great confidence in him, but he did not sit down and chose to stay at PSV.
"Too bad for us, but also for him."
Despite signing a contract extension in August, Depay's sublime season - which has seen him score 10 goals in 13 appearances this season - continues to see him linked with a move away from PSV, with his manager Phillip Cocu recently admitting the club will have little choice but to listen to offers for him.
Two of his biggest fans in Van Gaal and Saints manager Ronald Koeman meet in the Premier League on Monday 8 December, with Manchester United looking to leapfrog Southampton into fourth place in the table.
Koeman's side have suffered back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Arsenal and have been left to contend with a spate of injuries in recent weeks, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Jack Cork ruled out and Toby Alderweireld a major doubt.
Meanwhile, United have won their last four consecutive games and can move into third – just five points behind second-placed Manchester City – should they take three points.