Harry Redknapp has confirmed he tried to sign Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Stewart Downing, but acknowledged Tottenham could not compete with rival clubs.
Spurs have been relatively quiet in the transfer market this summer and have spent much of the window fending off Chelsea’s advances for Luka Modric.
Meanwhile many of Spurs’ competitors for Premier League top four finish have been busy adding to their squads, with Liverpool snaring Downing from Aston Villa.
Manchester United, who host Tottenham on Monday evening, also raided Villa to land Young and signed England Under-21 international Jones from Blackburn Rovers.
Redknapp has revealed he wanted all three players to join his side, but feels Spurs could not match the wages on offer at rival clubs.
“I tried to sign Young and Jones but when United are in the hunt it’s very difficult for anyone else to get a look-in,” said Redknapp.
“I first made a move for Young three or four years ago and have been after him ever since. Every club in the top six wanted Jones but the boy chose United and good luck to him.
“Young is a good signing for United. We chased him.
“We chased Stewart Downing. But it was always difficult. Their wages. It was always just out of our reach. That’s the problem.”