Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has admitted Manchester City beat him to Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz.
Redknapp was keen to sign Santa Cruz and Barry, but was blown out of the water by City's financial muscle.
The Spurs chief was disappointed to lose out on the duo and he concedes Spurs cannot compete with City in the transfer market.
"I'm looking to strengthen the squad and we've made inquiries for some good players," Redknapp told the Mail on Sunday "But it's very difficult. City have blown us out of the water.
"Regarding two of the players we were strong on, in the end we could not compete with Manchester City. They are working on another level with the wages they can offer.
"We liked Barry and Santa Cruz but when it came to it we just weren't at the races. The wages they offer have gone sky high. Glen Johnson has gone to Liverpool and is picking up two-and-a-half times the wages he was getting at Portsmouth.
"There is no doubt City are making it very difficult for the rest. Barry only had a year left on his contract and would have been a terrific signing for us, but they are probably paying him double what we would have given him, so we had no chance."
Despite missing out on two of his top targets, Redknapp insists he will not rushed into buying any new players this summer.
"We're not going to rush in," added Redknapp. "I have spoken to the chairman Daniel Levy and we've decided if we can't get players who will improve the team we're not going to bother.
"We've already got a decent squad, many of whom are going to get better. But we recognise we have to improve.
"If Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate stay injury-free we'll be strong at centre-half and the goalkeeping situation is much better. After early problems with Heurelho Gomes, he looked a different proposition to the one he was when I took over. We ended the season with two excellent keepers in him and Carlo Cudicini."
Redknapp was happy with the job he did at White Hart Lane last season and has targeted a top six finish this term.
"I think the fans were genuinely happy with what happened after I came," noted Redknapp. "When you've only got two points from eight games, you're in trouble, aren't you?
"Confidence was low but by the end of the season we had a great home record. We've got to improve the away results next season.
If we can do that we can push to finish in the top six. That has to be our aim and I believe we can achieve it."