Villas-Boas approached his former club about the possibility of loaning Ba with just an hour remaining of the transfer window.
It is understood that Chelsea agreed to the move but despite Spurs receiving the agreement it was too late for the White Hart Lane outfit to process.
Arsenal also made an approach for the Senegal international, but were refused the opportunity to speak to the player as the Blues were reluctant to sell to their title rivals.
Ba is understood to be frustrated by the lack of first-team opportunities on offer at Stamford Bridge and is expected to try and force through a move in January if he does not get regular football.
Tottenham last week