Luka Modric and Gareth Bale are staying at Tottenham insists Harry Redknapp
Manager plays down fear of exodus if poor form puts paid to hopes of Champions League place
Thursday 26 April 2012
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insists there will not be an exodus of top players if his team fail to qualify for the Champions League.
A slump in which they have won just one of their last nine Premier League games has seen Spurs drop to fifth in the table, with Chelsea's progression to the Champions League final meaning that even fourth may not be good enough to reach Europe's premier club competition next term.
Last summer Spurs rejected several bids from Chelsea for the playmaker Luka Modric, while winger Gareth Bale has been linked with a summer switch to Barcelona. Redknapp, though, does not expect the duo to be asking to leave at the end of the season, come what may.
"When they came to the club, Tottenham weren't in the Champions League, and were nowhere near getting in the Champions League," he said.
"They play for Tottenham. They're at a great club. There's no reason they should want to leave. If we don't make it this year, we'll try again next year. There's not too many clubs they could go to better than Tottenham.
"Gareth Bale and Luka Modric have both signed long-term contracts. Gareth has had a fantastic time for a young player at Tottenham. He needs to stay a few more years yet and keep developing.
"We've progressed so much in the last four years, we've got to keep that going and push on even more in the table and look to win a Premier League. It's not impossible."
After Chelsea's remarkable passage on Tuesday night to next month's final in Munich, Redknapp believes their interim manager Roberto Di Matteo now has a great chance of getting the job full-time.
"It's an unbelievable achievement," he said. "You just can't put it into words, how good it was. To play against 10 men, 2-0 down, and come back shows fantastic quality. And in the end they deserved it. They rode their luck but when you've got 10 men against Barcelona, you need all the luck you can get.
"Great credit to the manager. Robbie's done a great job there. He must have a very good chance [of getting it permanently], a great chance. He's done a fantastic job since he took over.
"That's up to the chairman of Chelsea, but he couldn't have done any more than what he's done. He's had a fantastic run and he's a nice guy as well. I hope he gets the job."
If Chelsea become European club champions on 19 May, they would be allowed to defend the trophy even if they finished outside the top four, with the fourth-placed team missing out.
But Redknapp will not let his players be distracted by that possibility as they look to win their final four games, starting at home to Blackburn on Sunday. "We've got to make sure we finish fourth or third, make sure we're in a position to qualify," he said. "If we don't, it doesn't matter what happens."
Meanwhile, Peter Shilton says England could reap the benefits from Tottenham's decline by being able to announce Redknapp as national manager sooner rather than later if he is chosen as Fabio Capello's successor.
Shilton said: "There is this situation where Harry might be going for the Champions League spot and so he wants to be loyal to the club. But maybe the fact Spurs have had a dip in form could be a blessing for England. Maybe they [the FA] think they can announce it a bit earlier if Spurs are not going to qualify for the Champions League.
"But the sooner the better. For the England fans and team, it has got to be done as soon as possible."
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