The 28-year-old is currently plying his trade for Russian side FC Rostov, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, in an attempt to regain the form that saw him win seven England caps – the last coming five years ago.
But, in the dying hours of the window, the Hoops’ manager switched his attention to Spurs’ duo Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas after failing to persuade Bentley to take a wage cut.
“I was going take David Bentley],” said the former Tottenham boss. “I was going take three players on loan but then there were other options. I had no problem taking Bentley. I thought maybe I could get him going again.”
The move would have surprised many after Bentley was exiled at White Hart Lane, under Redknapp, in 2010 for infamously pouring a bucket of icy water over his boss in the aftermath of Spurs securing Champions League qualification.
However, his ex-manager dismissed suggestions of a rift with his former charge, declaring that he was an admirer of Bentley’s talents and, also, the England international’s decision to move elsewhere in search of first-team football.
“He didn’t get much of a look in at Spurs because of Bale and Lennon,” said Redknapp, adding: “It was difficult for him to get into the team.
“I don’t hold grudges. I genuinely like David Bentley. When you look at how he went to Russia to play, it tells you everything.
“He could have stayed at Tottenham and took his wages but he went out and played in the middle of nowhere because he wanted to play football. It takes some bottle to do that.”
In the end, Redknapp’s decision boiled down to money with Bentley’s wages being a “bit heavier” than the combined salaries for Townsend and Jenas, which the R’s boss revealed surmounted to around £25,000 per week.