The Iceland international started his professional career with the Royals before moving to Hoffenheim in 2010 after impressing at the Madejski Stadium.
His stock continued to rise and after an impressive loan spell with Swansea last season, Tottenham signed him on a permanent deal in the summer but McDermott did his best to get him back in a blue and white shirt before the transfer deadline passed.
"We tried to bring him back. We had spoken to Spurs and we made three offers," said McDermott, giving away that it was in fact Sigurdsson and not Blackpool's Tom Ince that his club were planning on paying a club-record fee for.
"I thought at one stage we had a real chance of doing a deal, but unfortunately, we couldn't manage to do it.
"Gylfi is a Tottenham player, but we've known him since he was 12/13 years old and it would have been great to bring him back."
McDermott revealed on Tuesday that he had lodged a bid for Ince, one of the most sought-after players in the country, while he also signed Sheffield United striker Nick Blackman.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tom Ince