Redknapp certain Spurs are ready to spend big
Saturday 17 March 2012
As Tottenham Hotspur try to ensure they are playing Champions League football next season, Harry Redknapp believes the club are finally ready to make the investment needed to keep them there for a number of years.
Redknapp has been frustrated in the past at what could be seen as the club's reluctance to pay the highest prices for the best players. Tottenham's wage structure – their highest-paid player, Rafael van der Vaart, earns about £70,000 a week – is also more stringent than many of their rivals.
Yet as he prepared his team to face Bolton in today's FA Cup quarter-final, Redknapp hinted that the club's ambition was starting to grow. The £35m valuation of the Lille attacker Eden Hazard, one of Spurs' main transfer targets, has not doused their enthusiasm. The Marseilles forward Loïc Rémy, whose price tag is about £28m, is another objective.
Asked whether the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, would be prepared to push the boat out, Redknapp said: "I think they [the board] would do. It is good if we can compete for top players. You've got to keep pushing and I think the club would do it if we come up with the right targets.
"If you want to be a top-four team, you have to do that. The chairman is ambitious, as we all are, and it is pretty common knowledge that Hazard is a player we would like. I believe there are other clubs in for him, Manchester United and one or two others, perhaps.
"Hazard is a real top talent. He has great ability and he is a player who can do really special things."
Redknapp remains the favourite to become the next England manager, but it is a subject Tottenham have prevented him from discussing in his weekly press conferences. If he does depart, Redknapp would like to keep Spurs in the top four of the Premier League and lead them to their first FA Cup win since 1991.
The manager sees Chelsea as a major obstacle in their path. Spurs' London rivals have been revived under temporary manager Roberto Di Matteo and face Leicester in the last eight. Furthermore, they are only four points adrift of Tottenham in the league.
Redknapp added: "They have strong characters, winners, leaders on the pitch. Players like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba have been there and done it. That is what you need and it is what they have got."
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