The People says the veteran American keeper agreed a two-year contract with Spurs, giving him the chance to extend his playing career with one of the top clubs until he is 42.
But pals of Friedel revealed the golden oldie would have stayed at Villa if they had been able to tell him who their boss will be next season.
A source close to Friedel said: "Brad's mind was made up for him when Villa were left managerless. He would have stayed - even if Gerard Houllier had been in charge.
"He wanted to talk to the man who would be taking the team but Villa are two to three weeks from an appointment and the Spurs chance could have been gone."