Speaking to talkSPORT, Alex McLeish has admitted that he wanted to sign Gylfi Sigurdsson when in charge of Aston Villa, but financial restrictions prevented any sort of deal.
Speaking about attempts to cut Villa’s wage bill whilst in charge, McLeish said: “At the end of the day, you still have a team to rebuild. We did look at guys like Gylfi Sigurdsson at that stage. But with players like that, they were just out of our reach at times like that because of the financial situation.”
Sigurdsson had spent the 2011/12 season on loan at Swansea City, excelling with a return of seven goals in 18 league appearances.
He was very much in demand at the end of that campaign, with the Swans hoping to bring him in permanently, as well as Tottenham Hotspur, and, as confirmed by McLeish, Villa.
Spurs won the race to sign him, and he spent two seasons at White Hart Lane before returning to the Liberty Stadium on a permanent deal in the summer of 2014.
McLeish has admitted he wanted to sign the playmaker, but struggled to complete any of his planned signings due to the financial situation at Villa Park whilst he was in charge.
McLeish's main objective was to reduce the wage bill, but he still had to bud a team who could compete in the Premier League, but that was made extremely challenging given he could not pay large wages for many players.
Sigurdsson was a definite target for the club, and there is no guessing what sort of situation Villa would be in now if a deal was agreed to bring him to the Midlands in 2012.