Redknapp free to join Leicester

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp has been told by Portsmouth's chairman, Milan Mandaric, that he will be allowed to leave Fratton Park to join Leicester if he wants to take over as manager.

Mandaric said: "If I believe he wants it [the Leicester job] and wants to leave I will have to sit down and listen to Harry. If this is something he must do and wants to do I would let him, of course, because he is my friend."

Redknapp, who is Portsmouth's director of football, has been approached by Leicester to become their new manager, but if he takes the job he will have to wheel and deal his way out of relegation trouble. He was contacted by Leicester's club chairman, John Elsom, yesterday with an offer to replace the sacked Peter Taylor. But the former West Ham manager, who has a reputation for being able to work at the highest level on a shoestring, was also told he will have to sell before he can buy.

Ade Akinbiyi looks like heading the list of those to depart. An offer from Wolves was rejected by Taylor and has now lapsed because they signed Nathan Blake. Matt Elliott, dropped by Taylor on Saturday, could also leave, although his form has been indifferent since Leicester turned down a huge offer from Celtic. Even Robbie Savage may have to be sold to raise funds, although that would be an unpopular choice with the Leicester supporters.

Redknapp said: "I think Leicester are a terrific club and have had a good few years. It's a good job, but whoever takes it has got a hard job. They're the red-hot favourites to finish bottom of the league, so it's a great challenge for someone to go there and sort things out."

Redknapp would bring in his old West Ham assistant Frank Lampard if there was enough money to pay him.

Taylor, meanwhile, has vowed to prove Leicester wrong for sacking him, even though his team had lost 14 of their 18 Premiership matches since March. "Call me biased or blinkered, I think they are letting a good man go here," he said. "I certainly intend to prove them wrong in that decision. I have no worries in my abilities and I really hope that I prove the decision to be an incorrect one. The last thing I want is a long break. I want to get back as manager and I am sure I will be a very, very good manager."

Scotland will be without Leeds's Dominic Matteo and Celtic's Jackie McNamara for the World Cup qualifier against Latvia on Saturday. Both are injured.

The Southampton defender Rory Delap is out of the Republic of Ireland squad for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Cyprus.

Blackburn's Keith Gillespie and Celtic's Neil Lennon have pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad for their World Cup game against Malta.

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