Neil Warnock says Cardiff City were given a “rude awakening” when they realised how much top target Jefferson Lerma would cost.
The Bluebirds boss revealed Lerma, who will turn out for Bournemouth against his side on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, was his number one midfield target this summer.
But Levante wanted over five times more than Warnock was expecting to pay for the Colombian World Cup star and Lerma joined the Cherries for £25million.
“Our No.1 target in midfield was the lad Bournemouth signed, Lerma,” Warnock told talkSPORT.
“We thought it’d be about five or six million, and I think they paid about £27million.
“We had a rude awakening early doors. We were quite a long way away from the top targets so we had to be realistic really.
“But it was great to get in Victor Camarasa and Harry Arter. They’re great lads with things to prove
The Bluebirds completed the loan signings of Arter and Camarasa on season-long loan deals from the Cherries and Real Betis on transfer deadline day.
And Warnock revealed how the deal for Camarasa came about after Cardiff scouted Real Betis’ recent friendly against Saturday’s opponents.
“He played at Bournemouth on the Friday and he was mentioned to me before that,” said the Bluebirds boss.
“We had somebody at the game, we talked to him at great length and once we knew he was considering coming to us then it became a new ball game. He’s a good player.
“I think he’s got something to prove, he wants to show Real Betis what he can do.
“He’s at a lovely age, he can play, he’s comfortable on the ball. He adds another string to our bow.”