Tottenham were never likely to sell Luka Modric to Chelsea, despite the player being consistently linked with a move across London according to Daily Mirror journalist Martin Lipton.
The 26-year-old Croatian midfielder was the subject of numerous bids from the Blues, the latest of which amounting to a reported £40million before the transfer window closed.
However, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy knocked back all of Chelsea's advances, meaning Andre Villas-Boas was forced to rush through a deadline day deal for Raul Meireles, who moved to Stamford Bridge for £12million.
"Daniel Levy said at the very start that he wasn't going to sell," explained Lipton. "Chelsea persuaded themselves that he didn't mean it.
"But I was being told from day one - by people that should know - that he said it because he meant it. He had to do it.
"Modric is one year into a six-year deal [at Tottenham]. There was no reason to sell."
Tottenham's stance remained unchanged all summer, despite manager Harry Redknapp's increasing willingness to sell in order to generate the necessary funds for his own spending.
"Levy always believed it would be a very difficult August," he continued. "I think by the end Harry Redknapp probably wanted to sell, but he was the one publically saying at the start of the window: 'We mustn't sell and we've got to show ambition as a club.'
Reflecting on the Blues' deadline day business, Lipton spoke underwhelmingly about the arrival of Meireles, but admitted it could turn out to be something of a transfer coup for the west Londoners.
"Can you imagine if you'd said to the Chelsea fans that your key deadline day signing would be the sixth choice Liverpool midfielder?
"I actually think that's not a bad deal for either side," he concluded. "It's not necessarily a good deal, it might be a good deal for Chelsea, we just don't know. But he's not a keynote signing."
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