Say what you want about Tottenham Hotspur's transfer window thus far, but you can't say that Spurs have been idle. According to a report in Bild, German midfielder Sebastian Rode admits that he was contacted by Tottenham for a summer transfer to White Hart Lane, but he rejected a move to London in order to sign with Borussia Dortmund.
The Bild article is behind a paywall, but his quotes were reprinted in the International Business Times.
"Yes, that is true [that Tottenham made an offer]. And I listened to it, but again, the transfer to BVB was a matter of the heart.
"I've known [Dortmund manager Thomas] Tuchel since he was a youth coach at Mainz back when I still played for Offenbacher Kickers [Rode's first club]. I had a very, very convincing talk with Tuchel before my signature. My decision that it can only be Dortmund was certain after that."
Rode, 25, would have been a fantastic signing for Spurs despite his being mired on the bench this season for Bayern Munich (mostly due to injury), and there's no shame at all in losing a transfer battle with a German player to the second best German club. Dortmund signed Rode for a fee of somewhere around €12-15m.
If you want to find a silver lining from this report, it's this: Spurs' bid for Rode shows that they are serious about making a central midfield signing. With Tom Carroll and Ryan Mason likely gone and Mousa Dembele suspended for the first four matches of the season, Tottenham need additional depth in midfield. Rode would've been a great signing. Spurs are reportedly also taking a serious look at Southampton's Victor Wanyama.