Everton boss David Moyes has shrugged off their transfer failures last month.
Fer failed his Toffees medical with a knee problem after an £8.6million deal was agreed.
He also saw attempts to sign Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo from Seville come to nothing and Barnsley right-back John Stones, 18, was the only new arrival.
He said: “We are short. We said that before the window. We’re short of what we want and we tried but it didn’t happen.
“We could have tried a little bit earlier, but I wouldn’t say money wasn’t made available.
“We were disappointed obviously, because Fer is a top player. But we are still one of the contenders to be in and around the top four.
“We had a good January. It’s a case of keep plugging away.”