It could be argued Cook got his strategy wrong, having also missed out on Ronaldinho last summer following an equally protracted courtship.
However, he said: "I look at myself. I look in the mirror and say 'is it us?'.
"I truly believe that as a business with a core of football, our owners and investors would expect us, when that level of investment is applied, to have a good business case.
"Over the five-year period, if everything went well, we would show a return on the investment and satisfy the needs of the fans, financial community and employees.
"It was all coming together but when we got down to it, the father just wanted to know how much we were going to pay him."