Redknapp blasts 'silly money' for Fabiano

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp today accused Sevilla of demanding "crazy money" for Luis Fabiano as he finally admitted Tottenham had made a move for the striker.

Spurs have been linked with the Brazil international all summer and Redknapp has made no secret of his admiration for the 29-year-old, who has himself been quoted saying he would "love" to move to White Hart Lane.

Redknapp revealed today chairman Daniel Levy had enquired on his behalf about the prolific forward - who has just a year left on his Sevilla contract - but baulked at the £25million price tag.

"I think the chairman's enquired," Redknapp said.

"He's a player that I like but I think they're talking crazy money for him, for a player that age.

"One year left on his contract, I think he's got.

"In excess of £24million-£25million, the figures don't stack up.

"That wouldn't be a goer, not for that sort of money."

Spurs' historic progress to the group stage of the Champions League guarantees them almost exactly that figure.

But Redknapp maintained he was not close to spending any of it, ruling out a move for Roque Santa Cruz, as well as insisting he knew nothing about interest from Newcastle in Robbie Keane.

Indeed, the Spurs boss is confident his existing squad is more than capable of making their debut season in the Champions League one to remember.

That is despite a Group A draw which could hardly be tougher, with holders Inter Milan, Werder Bremen and FC Twente lying it wait.

"We've got a chance - a good chance - of qualifying," said Redknapp, who has transformed Spurs from relegation fodder to European heavyweights less than two years since taking charge.

Referring to a television commercial for a well-known national newspaper, he added to roars of laugher: "Watch the advert with the little ginger kid in the mornings.

"That tells you everything: 'Whoever thought Tottenham would be finishing fourth?'.

"Watch it; it's on every day; gives you a good wake-up call.

"I hope people who get carried away with what Tottenham are doing look at that and understand just how well we've done."

Spurs' glamour fixtures in Group A will be the double-header against Inter, which will see Redknapp pit his wits against former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

And there was an early hint of possible mind games today when Redknapp questioned whether anyone - including Benitez - could equal what the treble-winning Jose Mourinho achieved at the San Siro.

"To follow what Jose's done there is almost impossible," he said.

"You've got to win the Champions League, you've got to win the league, you've got to win the cup.

"He's taken a tough job on there."

Spurs return to domestic duty tomorrow when they host Wigan in the Barclays Premier League.

Having demolished the Latics 9-1 in last season's corresponding fixture and facing a side who have conceded 10 goals in their opening two games, complacency can hardly ever have been a greater danger.

Redknapp, who praised Wigan chairman Dave Whelan for backing under-fire manager Roberto Martinez, said: "We've been down this road lots of times before, where people expect you to win, and these are always the most difficult games."

He added: "That's what the good teams do. Good teams play in Europe - Champions League - and they come out and play in the league as well."

Redknapp also used his pre-match briefing for the Wigan game to launch an astonishing attack on agents.

The Spurs boss singled out the representative of Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who asked to be left out of his club's midweek Carling Cup tie with Shrewsbury amid reported interest in him from Chelsea.

"How can you have an agent telling a player not to play?" Redknapp said.

"You see that situation this week: a young kid who's done nothing in the game. Suddenly, his agent's wanting him to move so he can make a good move for him and everybody, and it's wrong, it's wrong.

"Players should be stronger anyway. They should stick up for themselves and say, 'You don't run my life; I'm a footballer; I want to play'."