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)

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
news
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Sport
SPORT
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick