Had negotiations been swifter, Cole might have been playing in blue and white hoops, rather than claret and blue.
Ex-Hammers boss Redknapp said: "I wanted Joe. I would've had Joe about two weeks before West Ham got him. I just felt we took a long while to get it sorted. It just dragged on too long.
"Once West Ham come in he's only ever going to come to West Ham. I don't blame him.
"This is his home. This is where he started as a 12-year-old when I signed him. He's a fantastic boy."