"Southampton said no to us because they are looking for more money, which they have every right to do.
"The bid we made for Gareth reflected his potential. There were a series of build-ups in it because we have to protect our own club's assets too.
"I am not exactly sure what Tottenham have offered more but they have offered more and that has put them in pole position at the moment.
"What we have done with Southampton is offer them an initial fee and build it up with international caps and success in Europe. There are millions of things you put in contracts now, it's rare you just do a cash payment. It's all incentivised now. The fact you need to pay so much nowadays doesn't frighten me, but it can frustrate you.
"But when you are talking of young players with potential, you hope your assessment and decision-making is correct and therefore you hope that he will end up having two or three contracts so you get longevity from a player.
"Anyone who guarantees a player first-team football every week is wrong.
"There are so many examples of young players being given a chance at this club, no-one could dispute the fact they will get opportunities. Maybe the boy himself would need to assess that.
"The fees don't frighten me, although it can sometimes frustrate me a little bit.
"When you are talking about signing young players with potential, you hope your decision-making and your assessment of the player is correct.
"You hope he won't be there for just one contract but for two or three. Then you get the longevity from that player, as we have done in the past with the likes of Roy Keane, Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce and Denis Irwin.
"That is the only way you can assess it."
Southampton manager George Burley:
"I have worked with five young players of outstanding potential in recent years, Kieron Dyer, Darren Ambrose, Richard Wright, Tom Huddlestone and Darren Bent.
"Wright and Ambrose moved on too soon. I told Richard he needed another year and I felt the same about Darren before he signed for Newcastle. The same applies to Gareth. It is a question now of how he develops. He needs this season and next to develop his whole game. After that he'll be able to play for any first-team anywhere.
"He can be world-class because he has priceless assets. He is a defender who attacks, a full-back who is a winger — and he scores goals. We all know what he can do with a free-kick. You say he bends them like Beckham? Better than Beckham."