"We made John a fantastic offer," Redknapp told Sky Sports News HQ. "I'd be a liar, if suddenly when he's gone to our rivals, I stood here and said we didn't want him.
"That's not true - I have been one of John's biggest fans, I think he is a fantastic player. We made him a good offer early but to be honest it was always a difficult one because I felt maybe I am looking to bring in five or six players."
"To put all my eggs in one basket was (a risk), I thought maybe I am better off spreading (my budget) and that will get me the five or six players perhaps with the money we would have paid on John," he added.
"Having said that, I would be a hypocrite if I stood here and said he wasn't a top player. Aston Villa have signed a fantastic player - there is no doubt about that.
"But I am hoping I will get five or six players very good players in who can make us a better all-round team."
He added: "It's John's decision and I respect whatever decision John made," Redknapp said. "As I say, I have always been a fan of his.
"He has been an outstanding player for many years and a great captain."