Harry Redknapp: Loïc Rémy was happy enough to meet me when I was at Spurs. Now I'm at QPR...

Redknapp's horizons have changed since moving across London but he is not bitter about it as his former side arrive at Loftus Road today, he tells Sam Wallace

In the days when he was Tottenham Hotspur manager, Harry Redknapp could travel Europe and command an audience with just about any player who was potentially on the move. Last week he found out that his new position at Queen's Park Rangers does not confer quite so many privileges on the incumbent.

He was back in Marseilles to watch Loïc Rémy, the striker he has been chasing since he took over at QPR in November. As Spurs manager he had met with the player before but on this occasion he was politely informed by associates of the 26-year-old that Rémy had declined the opportunity to see Redknapp.

"Didn't want to come," Redknapp said, when asked if Rémy – now tracked by Arsenal as well as Newcastle United – was a potential recruit for the relegation battle. "I went over last week to watch him, not that I needed to, as I watched him seven times when I was at Spurs. Then he just did not want to speak about coming. I couldn't even get a meeting with him."

Redknapp said that he was not about to take it personally – "I think he felt embarrassed coming to see me to say he wasn't interested in coming to QPR" – but it was a sharp reminder of where he now stands when it comes to the transfer window. He needs a striker, desperately, and he could do with a centre-half, a left-back and a central midfielder, but he will have to pick up what he can.

All that is put to one side today as he faces Tottenham for the first time since, on 13 June, the final year of his contract at the club was paid up and he was shown the door. It brought to an end six months in his life when he went from facing prison over tax evasion charges, to be the bookies' favourite for the England manager's job and then denied Champions League football with Spurs by Chelsea's triumph in the competition.

"Things happen," was Redknapp's take on it, presented in answer to a variety of different questions at QPR's training ground yesterday, on whether he has a grudge or unfinished business with the club and its chairman, Daniel Levy.

Redknapp was at great pains to make clear that today's game was not about revenge on the club that got rid of him after a fourth-place finish, nor that his point last week that only a "real dope" could "mess up" at Chelsea was aimed at Andre Villas-Boas. These days Redknapp seeks to portray himself as a man at peace with the world who is happiest on the training pitch working on strategies.

Eventually, when it was put to Redknapp that he could not have been forced out of Spurs on results alone, he confirmed that, yes, he believed it was "political". "I've got my own feelings about what happened but it's difficult for me to say." There is no point burning any bridges, not when he may well have to return to Levy for players this month, perhaps even the midfielder Jake Livermore.

Would Levy be in the mood to do his old manager any favours? "He will help himself," Redknapp said. "Let's not kid ourselves. He is not going to say, "Good ol' Harry, let's help him. I love QPR'. He is going to help himself. That's life.

"He ain't going to give us a special deal because it's me or anyone else. He will look to get whatever he thinks the value of someone is and that's what he wants. And this is his time of the year, January, the transfer window. He loves it."

If that sounded a little provocative, it came across as a man who probably feels confident enough that he has enough of a relationship with Levy that he can still poke fun at him. "What's happened to me? I had four great years at Spurs and got very well paid. I've now come to QPR, and don't get so well paid! But I'm here, involved in football. I love it."

The brave face approach has worked up to a point this far at QPR. He refused to blame the players after the bad defeat at home to Liverpool on 30 December – although he admitted yesterday it "shocked" him – and it paid off with that famous win over Chelsea. Now he has to find a way to beat Tottenham and he promised more of the same approach from Stamford Bridge: a tight, compact side hoping to hit Spurs on the break.

Redknapp was vague about when Ryan Nelsen, available today, is likely to leave to take up the manager's job at Toronto FC, and he is also without Armand Traoré, Junior Hoilett and the long-term injured Bobby Zamora. With chief executive Philip Beard listening in the room, it was more evidence that the squad needs strengthening, although the ultimate call comes from above him.

As for Redknapp, he was eager to make the point that he wished no ill fortune on Spurs. "What am I supposed to say? I hope West Ham don't do any good? I hope Southampton are crap? I hope Bournemouth keep losing. Why? How does it affect me? I swear on my wife's life I do not worry about those things.

"I don't go through my life like that. And that's good. Perhaps that's why I can enjoy my life so much. I'm not a jealous, bitter, twisted person. People have taken liberties with me in my life like you'd never believe but I forgive and forget and shake hands. That's how I live."

Nevertheless, it goes without saying he would enjoy a victory over Tottenham at Loftus Road every bit as much as he did that one against Chelsea last week.

Cutting his cloth: top buys at QPR and Spurs

QPR's record signings

* Shaun Wright-Phillips £6.5m (from Manchester City, Aug 2011)

* Stéphane Mbia £5m (from Marseilles, Aug 2012)

* Bobby Zamora £4m (from Fulham, Jan 2012)

Tottenham's record signings

* Luka Modric £16.5m (from Dynamo Zagreb, Apr 2008)

* Darren Bent £16.4m (from Charlton, Jun 2007)

* Robbie Keane £16m (from Liverpool, Jan 2009)

Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth gamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game