Tottenham failed in their bid to lure Southampton defender Thierry Small after falling £400,000 short of the asking price, sources have told Football Insider.
The London giants made a move for the left-back, 18, as they looked to sign him from their Premier League rivals in the final days of the January window.
It is believed that Tottenham offered £800,000 for Small but Southampton were asking for £1.2million after indicating they were willing to sell him permanently
Spurs were unwilling to increase their offer for the teenager and pulled the plug on their pursuit.
We also revealed that St Mirren were pushing to sign the rising star on loan, which was eventually confirmed by the Scottish Premiership club on Tuesday evening.
Small also had an offer from another club north of the border, which is understood to have been Aberdeen.
Spurs are keen on a permanent deal for Small, who they regard as a young player with huge potential and the ability to break into their first team even though he is being overlooked at the Saints.
The teenager is a left-back who can also operate at left wing-back as well as on the left side of a three-man defence.
Tottenham performance director Gretar Steinsson was the driving force for the club’s interest in Small as he knows him well from former club Everton.
However, Spurs are renowned in the industry for refusing to spend big on emerging stars who need to be developed on the training pitch and initially in Under-21s football.
Small joined League One outfit Port Vale in the summer on a season-long loan but that deal was terminated in November, as first revealed by Football Insider, when Southampton activated their recall clause.
The £5million signing from Everton truggled for game time at the third-tier club, who already had two left-backs, his preferred position, when he signed.
The England under-19 international was born in Solihull and was a youth player at West Brom before moving to Everton and becoming a regular for their Under-23s.
He became Everton’s youngest ever first team player, in January 2021, when he appeared in an FA Cup win against Sheffield Wednesday aged just 16 years and 176 days.
He joined Southampton on a three-year deal in August 2021.
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