Craig Brown is resigned to midfielder Fraser Fyvie leaving Aberdeen but is looking to strengthen his side further despite the transfer window closing.
The 19-year-old has told the Dons manager he will not extend his contract, which expires in December, as he wants to move to English football.
"He's not said that at the moment he wants to leave," said Brown.
"He has signalled that he wants to go at the end of his contract, which we respect."
Brown laughed off reports that he had placed a price of £5m on the midfielder's head before he would be allowed to exit Pittodrie during the summer.
"I have told Fyvie that at no time have I said I want £5m for you," he said.
"The reporter from the evening paper overhead me joking with him, saying that, if a club like Arsenal offer £5m, we would consider it.
"It was a joke and obviously some people haven't got a sense of humour."
Brown insisted it was not a case of Fyvie rejecting a contract extension because the salary did not meet his demands.
"At no time has he mentioned money," said the manager of the player who missed most of last season through injury.
"What he has said is that he wants to pursue his career in England.
"He is very single-minded and, although I think he is a bit premature going before he has established himself, that is my opinion, that doesn't matter to him.
"I predict he'll sign a pre-contract six months from the end in the summer and will leave in December.
"He's had a hard time, Fyvie, and if I were his agent, I would say wait a little while longer.
"But young lads nowadays want to be superstars early, and he might well be, but that's his decision and we've just got to accept it."
Brown and assistant Archie Knox have brought in defenders Mark Reynolds and Russell Anderson, midfielders Stephen Hughes and Gavin Rae, plus striker Daniel Uchechi during January.
However, Brown stressed that forwards Chris Maguire and Sone Aluko, defender Richard Foster and midfielder Jack Grimmer had left since last summer.
"In each of those transfers, Aberdeen has had an income," said the manager.
"So, we have brought in players, but we've not had to pay a transfer fee for any of them.
"Having brought them in, and having looked at the squad, I think it the strongest Archie and I have had since we came to Aberdeen.
"But we still want to make it stronger and we continue to look.
"Although the window is closed, there are players out of contract and we're still looking, I can assure you.
"The support from the chairman and the board has been outstanding.
"We are over budget slightly, but there is an undertaking that we'll get it sorted when it comes to the summer time."