However, the potential switch is now off after the parties involved were unable to agree on a deal.
"Inevitably it's about finances and we've not been able to cross the line," Ford told Sky Sports News. "It's unfortunate, all England and Bath fans alike were excited and we were close to signing a great player which would have helped club and country.
"We tried our very, very best. Obviously we are gutted but from a Bath point of view. We still need a player in the back-row and we will still be looking."
Saracens are also understood to be keen on signing Armitage, who has spent the past three years in France.