New Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins held extensive Tottenham talks in the summer and was “desperate” to join them, Football Insider has been told.
The centre-forward completed a move to Villa Park last month for an initial £28million rising to a potential £33m with add-ons.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Spurs had been in pole position to beat Dean Smith’s side and a string of other Premier League teams to Watkins’ signature.
The striker, 24, was keen to move to the Londoners above other clubs even though he knew he would have to play back-up to main man Harry Kane.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy held extensive talks with Watkins’ camp and Brentford over a potential deal.
But the long-standing chief would not meet the asking price and kept trying to drive the deal down.
That led to frustration on Watkins’ part and he was eventually lured to Villa and a reunion with Smith, his former manager at Brentford.
He has made a huge and instant impact for the Midlands giants, scoring five goals from his first six matches.
That includes an unforgettable hat-trick in last Sunday’s 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool on one of the most remarkable day’s results in Premier League history.
Tottenham did eventually secure the striker they were seeking when Carlos Vinicius joined on a loan-to-buy deal from Benfica in the final days of the window.