Madejski reveals that it was not money but problems at the Tottenham end that scuppered the deal.
Madejski told the London Evening Standard: "What happened was Tottenham were trying to buy somebody. If they had, then they would have sold Sigurdsson to us. It went right up to the wire but their deal didn't come off.
"I don't know who it was, it is none of my business but I think it was a guy from Brazil."
This was, almost certainly, the Brazil striker Leandro Damiao whose move from Internacional broke down on transfer deadline day.
Reading's bid, says Madejski, was: "Anton [Zingarevich, who Madejski sold the club for £25m last year] trying to be ambitious. Arguably, if we had got Sigurdsson it might have improved our chances."