Rotherham United missed out on former loan star Grant Ward because the player decided to go elsewhere, manager Alan Stubbs has revealed.
The Millers matched the bid Ipswich Town made to Spurs for the midfielder, but the 21-year-old opted for Portman Road.
“We offered the same as Ipswich paid,” Stubbs said. “Unfortunately, the player chose Ipswich, which I respect.”
The fee was £600,000, with add-ons potentially taking the figure past £700,000.
“That was another significant offer that we put in,” Stubbs added.
“We have to be realistic. If we’re in for a player, say, Newcastle are in for, we know we can’t compete.
“We are in among a group of teams where we have to offer them something different. What we can offer is that they’re going to be starting, and that’s not necessarily going to be the case at these bigger teams.”Ward made 43 appearances for Rotherham during last season’s Championship survival campaign, scoring two goals.
Meanwhile, new boy Kelvin Wilson could be wearing a Millers first-team shirt within a fortnight after joining the club as a free agent.
The 30-year-old former Celtic and Nottingham Forest centre-half started training with Rotherham on Monday, but doesn’t have a full pre-season under his belt.
“I don’t think he’s as far away as we thought he was going to be,” Stubbs said. “He’s come in on Monday and done a little bit of conditioning work.
The fitness coach, Warney (Paul Warne), was quietly pleased with where he was in terms of his heartrate and everything. We’re hoping he’s not going to be too far away. Maybe he’s a week, 10 days, behind everybody.”
Fellow centre-half Aimen Belaid has had a slight setback in his recovery from groin surgery. Stubbs hopes the player will return to training a week on Monday.
“It’s literally a small strain,” the manager said. “It’s put him back days rather than weeks.”