Tottenham rejected the chance to sign Jack Clarke for £300,000 – two years before paying Leeds United £13million for him, Football Insider has learned.
Spurs were keeping tabs on the United academy product for a number of years before finalising a deal in July 2019.
A Tottenham source has told Football Insider how they were offered Clarke by intermediaries when he was 16 and before he had penned professional terms with Leeds.
Spurs would have needed to pay the Yorkshire giants a relatively insignificant sum of £300,000 at the time for the winger, who was making his way in the youth set-up.
However, the Premier League giants do not like paying major fees for youngsters in their mid-teens, even ones they regard as outstanding.
It is a long-held club policy that has seen Tottenham miss out on plenty of top talent over the years.
In this case it was to cost the club around £13m, as that’s what they Leeds for Clarke two summers ago.
Tottenham agreed to pay an initial £9.5million for the then-18-year-old rising to £13m with add-ons.
Leeds have had the better of that particular deal so far.
Clarke has spent most of his first two seasons at Tottenham out on loan, initially back at Leeds and then at QPR before a more recent spell at Stoke City.
That came to an end in unfortunate circumstances for the wide man last month when he suffered an achilles injury that has sidelined him for the rest of the season.
Clarke has made just three senior Spurs appearances, two in the Europa League and one in the FA Cup against Marine.