Darren Ferguson is convinced Steven Taylor would have signed for Doncaster Rovers had his decision been determined by football issues.
The centre half signed a two-year deal with League One rivals Peterborough United on Tuesday, ending Rovers' pursuit of the 31-year-old
Ferguson confirmed Rovers could not meet the financial demands of Taylor, who spent last week on trial with the club and played in the friendly against Derby County.
"If it'd have been purely down to a football decision he'd have come to us," Ferguson said.
"Footballing wise, he definitely want to come to us but other things came into it.
"Unfortunately I think the finances of it, we couldn't get to the level he wanted.
"Unfortunately we couldn't do it.
"He's a lovely lad and we wish him all the best.
"He played in the Derby game and we had talks and negotiations with him for quite a while.
"The risk with playing him against Derby was obviously there would be interest from other clubs, although it'd already come out that he'd left Ipswich.
"It proved to be the case and I think he spoke to two or three other clubs.
"He had to see what the best option out there was for him.
"We wish him all the best and we carry on."
Ferguson denied the two-year deal offered to Taylor by Peterborough was the determining factor.
He said: "It wasn't anything to do with that.
"It was more about the whole structure of the deal.
"We did out best and we were trying to be as competitive as we could.
"But at the end of the day, my job is to stay within the budget that has been set."