Gosport Borough have missed out on a sensational swoop for David James.
Alex Pike targeted the ex-Pompey keeper after it appeared Nathan Ashmore would be quitting the promotion-hunting club.
Borough’s regular stopper had recently been the subject of interest from Australian side Oakleigh Cannons.
That prompted the ambitious Southern League premier division outfit to sound out James, who left Bournemouth earlier this month.
As it turned out, the 42-year-old has already been lined up to join IBV, the Icelandic club managed by Hermann Hreidarsson.
In addition, Ashmore has declared he will now remain at Privett Park until the end of the season.
But Gosport chairman Mark Hook revealed former England keeper James had been a contingency plan.
He said: ‘We made a move to bring David James to the club.
‘When it looked as though Nathan Ashmore could be moving to Australia, we put in a few calls after James had been released by Bournemouth to see if it was an option for him to join us.
‘It shows how ambitious we are to go for a top-class keeper like that and how determined the club are to gain promotion or, as our manager Alex Pike would say, to see us win the league!
‘In the end, Nathan has said he will be staying with us to the end of the season, which we are mightily relieved about, while it appears James is going to join Hermann’s team in Iceland.’
Hook added: ‘I think we could have attracted James.
‘It’s not all about money. It’s about wanting to play and achieve something towards the end of your career.
‘That was exactly the case with Steve Claridge last season and Sammy Igoe this season.’