A transfer window that was described as "terrible" by Harry Redknapp last weekend culminated in more frustration for the Tottenham Hotspur manager when attempts to sign the coveted England centre-half Gary Cahill from Bolton were thwarted at the last after a frenzied day of ins and outs at the London club.
Spurs moved for Cahill after securing Scott Parker from West Ham and sanctioning the departure of five high-profile players. Yet despite the Bolton centre-half having entered the last 12 months of his contract, talks between the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, and his counterpart, Phil Gartside, at the Reebok Stadium failed to agree a fee, with Spurs resistant to meeting Bolton's £13m valuation.
That denied Redknapp a key signing, after moves for Lassana Diarra, Craig Bellamy, Giuseppe Rossi and Fernando Llorente come to nothing.
"We'd been trying to make one big one [happen] by taking Gary Cahill but we couldn't get there in the end," said Redknapp. "The chairman tried hard but we couldn't make it happen. It was the valuation, more or less. The deal was just a bit difficult to do. We would have liked him, but there you go. It's been a difficult day – we've got a few players out, but we've found it difficult bringing players in."
Cahill, who was the subject of two bids from Arsenal last week which were both dismissed as "derisory" by Gartside, will now travel with England to Bulgaria as a Bolton player. Spurs duly pulled the plug on Sébastian Bassong's proposed transfer to Queen's Park Rangers. Redknapp's options at centre-half remain fragile, given the fitness issues that hamper William Gallas and Ledley King and with Jonathan Woodgate released, leaving the Tottenham manager's principal consolations the arrival of Parker, Emmanuel Adebayor's loan signing from Manchester City and the retention of Luka Modric.
The Spurs manager had urged his chairman to move into the market to give the club "a little bit of a lift" after Sunday's 5-1 home defeat by Manchester City. Redknapp suggested a new £40m bid had been submitted by Chelsea for the Croatia international on Tuesday, and while Cahill's arrival might have altered the mood at White Hart Lane, Parker's signing represented the only significant incoming transfer on deadline day.
Parker joined for £5.5m, with David Bentley going to West Ham on a season-long loan. The move is a departure for Levy, given his preference to sign younger players with potential sell-on value. The hierarchy will take more satisfaction in having sold a number of fringe players, including Bentley, with Stoke City, who signed Woodgate earlier, signing Peter Crouch for a club record £10m – rising to a possible £12m – and the midfielder Wilson Palacios for £8m.
Redknapp had indicated that a number of clubs were competing to secure Crouch. "He's too good not to play," said the Spurs manager. "He's an outstanding player." Stoke's desire to secure the England striker, first expressed earlier this month, swayed his decision. Tony Pulis secured £22m worth of talent on the window's final day, after signing Cameron Jerome from Birmingham City for £4m.
Jermaine Jenas has joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan; his club-mate Alan Hutton has joined Villa for £4m on a four-year deal. "We had 29 senior players this morning and we couldn't name four of them [in the 25-man Premier League squad], which means you've got four who might not be able to play," said Redknapp. "So we had to clear a few out. It was difficult. They're all good players and they'll all do well. I wish them all the best."
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010