AC Milan director Massimiliano Mirabelli revealed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wanted to join the big-spending Serie A club but Borussia Dortmund refused to sell.
Gabon international Aubameyang was linked with a return to Milan, the club he left for Saint-Etienne in 2011, but a transfer never materialised.
Instead, Milan signed Nikola Kalinic on loan from Fiorentina following the arrival of Portuguese forward Andre Silva.
"Aubameyang is a great player. He wanted to come to Milan, but some marriages just don't happen, for one reason or another," said Mirabelli via a livestreamed interview.
"Borussia Dortmund wouldn't sell and that's the way it went, but he remains a great striker."
It was a busy transfer window for Milan, who overhauled their squad with the signings of Leonardo Bonucci, Lucas Biglia, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Andrea Conti, Franck Kessie and Fabio Borini.