The Daily Star says the ambitious Potters were hoping to land the towering 6ft 7in striker along with White Hart Lane team-mate Wilson Palacios.
Palacios’ £8m switch only has to be rubber-stamped as Stoke last night waited for the necessary international papers.
The 27-year-old Honduran midfielder was ready to complete the deal following a medical.
But Stoke boss Tony Pulis’ bold move for Crouch looks to be floundering purely on the grounds of wages.
Stoke have money to spend but are determined not to smash through their wage ceiling. Crouch’s £65,000-a-week package at Tottenham is looking to be far too big a stumbling block.