Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp has revealed he tried to sign Gareth Barry but was 'blown out of the water by Manchester City'.
England international Barry parted company with Aston Villa on Tuesday after the Midlands club accepted a £12million bid from affluent City.
Spurs, though, were also keen on the midfielder while Redknapp has also claimed Liverpool, who tracked Barry last summer, were interested in a renewed bid.
But the duo struggled to compete with City's financial muscle and Redknapp has admitted his frustration at losing out to Tottenham's Premier League counterparts.
He told The Sun: "This week, I tried to sign Gareth Barry. I felt he would be a good addition for Spurs and I knew we had to make a decent offer for a top England player.
"Liverpool were also prepared to make a big offer. But we have both been blown out of the water by Manchester City.
"They offered a far bigger transfer fee and are giving the lad much bigger wages. We could not get near.
"It's certainly not Gareth's fault that he is being given such a massive contract.
"But I believe the game could do one thing. I don't see wages or transfer fees going down but English football could start putting something back into the community.
"I'd like to see every manager and every player in the Premier League make a donation to charity from their monthly pay packets."
Embarrassed Redknapp went on to criticise the increasing wages in the Premier League, questioning the morality of such figures in the current climate.
He said: "While I benefit from a good wage, I'm embarrassed about it, to be honest. A lot of people in football are embarrassed.
"I never thought it would get this out of hand. The sums we are now talking to get good players are really, really crazy.
"To hear that Chelsea and Real Madrid are prepared to pay £50million, £60m or even £70m for Kaka is just mental.
"Kaka is a fantastic player and I would obviously love him in my team at White Hart Lane. The fact a pro footballer could be earning £200,000 a week is plain ridiculous."