Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas offered his former club more money than Queens Park Rangers in a bid to be reunited with midfielder Sandro, according to Harry Redknapp.
Sandro, who was brought to White Hart Lane by Redknapp in 2010, completed his surprise move to Loftus Road on transfer deadline day.
While injuries and a loss of form saw the 25-year-old lose his place in the Spurs starting line-up last season under Tim Sherwood, the Brazilian's stock remained high across Europe during the summer, with a number of clubs interested in his services.
Zenit, who made Villas-Boas their manager this summer, were one interested party and Redknapp admits it was a 'surprise' his side were able to strike a deal with Spurs given the Russian club's substantial financial backing.
"I was surprised we were able to get him, to be honest, and that he wasn't playing more," Redknapp told a press conference. "I think Tottenham turned down a big bid from Zenit just before the start of the season.
"It was certainly four or five million more than we paid for him.
"So I couldn't be more pleased to have him. He's a great character, a good lad and I think he'll be a great player for QPR."
Former Internacional star Sandro was handed his debut against Manchester United last Sunday but was withdrawn with 10 minutes remaining as the Rs fell to a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford.
With just one win from their opening four games, Redknapp is hoping to have Sandro at full fitness as soon as possible and told reporters the player is nearing that level.
"I don't know how long he'll need to be up to full speed," Redknapp continued. "But he hadn't played at all and there's nothing like matches, until you get on the pitch you can't bring it all together.
"It's taking on the nerves, the adrenaline, all the training in the world doesn't compensate for playing in 90-minute games, and that's what several of them lacked.
"Sandro will be fitter on Saturday than he was last week and he's going to be a great player for us."