SAO PAULO (AP) – Harry Redknapp has admitted lying to a News of the World reporter.
He also told a court he "plucked the wrong figure" out of the air as he was quizzed by Premier League bung investigators.
The Tottenham manager denied prosecution claims he "desperately" tried to cover up allegations the £189,000 Monaco payments were bonuses for transfer profits.
But he said he gave sports journalist Rob Beasley the wrong information to prevent a story appearing in the Sunday tabloid as Spurs were due to take on Manchester United in the 2009 League Cup final.
Appearing in the stand at Southwark Crown Court for a second day, Redknapp said: "I don't have to tell Mr Beasley the truth. I have to tell police the truth, not Mr Beasley, he's a News of the World reporter."
When asked why he referred to payments as bonuses he was due for the sale of Peter Crouch from Portsmouth to Aston Villa, Redknapp added: "I wanted to make the point to Mr Beasley that it was paid by my chairman."
He added: "I referred to it to him many times as my Crouch bonus" as "Crouch is an easy answer".
Redknapp added: "I just want to get Mr Beasley out the way - I just didn't want a story in the paper.... I was going to come down to breakfast and all my players were going to be looking at the back page of the News of the World. It was going to be embarrassing."
Redknapp said "I am not a liar" but giving Mr Beasley the wrong information was "the easy way out".
John Black QC, for the prosecution, accused Redknapp of "letting the cat out of the bag" during the phone conversation.
Redknapp replied: "Why would I let the cat out of the bag to the News of the World if I had done anything wrong?
"Do you think me and Mr (Milan) Mandaric are going to have completely different stories. Are we that stupid?"
When asked again why he had offered a "false story" to Mr Beasley, Redknapp added: "I just want to get him off my back. This is the easy way out for me before a cup final."
The payments were linked to Crouch "in my mind", Redknapp added.
"In my mind it was always related to Crouch even though it wasn't connected.
"I felt morally I was due that money even though legally I wasn't."
Tape recordings of Redknapp talking to Mr Beasley were played in court.
Mr Black focused on Redknapp saying "Well, what did he give it to me for then?" when Mr Beasley said Mandaric claimed the payments were an investment, not a bonus.
Mr Black asked earlier if Redknapp was "desperately trying to hide" that it was a bonus.
Redknapp replied: "Absolutely not."
When asked if he had been misleading, Redknapp repeated: "Absolutely not."
He went on to say: "You could be under the illusion (it was a bonus) but you would be wrong."
He said "I wasn't sure what the sum was, Mr Black" when he first mentioned the account to Quest Premier League bung investigators.
When asked if he plucked a figure out of the air, Redknapp replied: "I did and I plucked the wrong figure, didn't I?"
When asked whether responsibility for paying the tax was the club's, Redknapp replied: "Yes."
Both former Portsmouth boss Redknapp, of Dorset, and Mandaric, 73, of Leicestershire, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue.