Bassett could team up with Redknapp

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Harry Redknapp will today open formal talks with Leicester City with a view to becoming their new manager. The 54-year-old Redknapp is the clear favourite to succeed Peter Taylor, who was dismissed on Sunday, and is believed to have already lined up an experienced back-room team with the aim of steadying the ship at Filbert Street.

As well as his former assistant at West Ham, Frank Lampard, Redknapp's staff will include the former Wimbledon, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace manager Dave Bassett and the veteran Leicester defender Steve Walsh.

Redknapp, who resigned as West Ham manager in the summer after seven years at Upton Park, confirmed yesterday that he is interested in the Leicester post. He is currently director of football at Portsmouth, but is keen to return to management and has the First Division club's blessing to leave if he wishes.

"I want to talk to Leicester to see what the job is all about," Redknapp said. "There doesn't seem to be much money around at the club, but I owe it to myself to see what they are offering. The truth is I miss being a manager. It's a good job, but whoever takes it has got a hard job. They're the bookmakers' favourites to go down."

The Leicester chairman, John Elsom, yesterday welcomed Redknapp's interest. "If Harry is one of the people interested in the job, I'm absolutely sure we will be speaking to him," Elsom said.

Lampard watched Leicester at the weekend before Sunday night's sacking of Peter Taylor. However, Bassett is the surprise appointment. He has been approached by Cardiff City to join them as general manager, but has delayed that decision because of the Leicester move.

Bassett's reputation as a shrewd trader in the transfer market and a bubbly character is similar to Redknapp's, but the pair should be able to work together. Walsh ­ who wanted the job when Taylor was appointed ­ is also pencilled in for a post, possibly as chief scout. There are three vacancies following the end of Taylor's reign, with Colin Murphy and Steve Butler also leaving City.

Newcastle United have cut their operating loss by 73 per cent to £5.1m, compared to £19.1m in 2000. The deficit on player trading was also cut by 38 per cent to £12.3m, while turnover rose by 22 per cent to £54.9m, largely due to increased capacity at St James's Park.

Tottenham Hotspur have been given permission to redevelop their East Stand, but have still not ruled out the possibility of leaving White Hart Lane. Haringey Council has approved plans for a new three-tier structure which, when completed, would increase the stadium capacity to 44,000. However, the club says it has not yet ruled out the idea of building a new stadium.

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