Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, is seemingly prepared to upset David Moyes on his 10-year anniversary match by playing Louis Saha against Everton despite a "gentlemen's agreement" between the pair not to use the French forward in this evening's Premier League match at Goodison Park, a ground where Spurs have lost just once over the past eight seasons.
If selected to lead the attack, Saha, scorer of three goals in five Spurs appearances, will play against his former club for the first time since his free transfer to north London in a late deadline-day move in January.
Moyes, who marks a decade in charge of Everton on Thursday, claimed yesterday that he has a verbal agreement in place that the former Toffees' striker would not feature. "I think I have an agreement with Harry that he doesn't play," Moyes said. "If that's the case then Louis does not play unless Tottenham have lots of injuries. It was just something but if he plays it is not a problem. Harry told me if he is short of players he will play but if he is not he might not use him. Gentlemen shake hands and do things and me and Harry did that – but if he needs him, then he will play."
Yet Redknapp, admittedly unaware of Moyes's comments, insisted that provided there were no issues with his knee, the 33-year-old France international could be involved. The Spurs manager said: "He is available, yes. He has been in great form since he arrived at the club so we're hoping he will be okay.
"I've always liked him. I remember talking to Rio [Ferdinand] about him a couple of years ago and Rio absolutely raved about him.Louis is a good lad as well. Technically he's a real good player. He has proven that he can take his chances. A big part of it is down to confidence. And a change of scenery, too. You can get in a bit of a rut somewhere and need a new start."
Speculation has continued to intensify that Redknapp remains the number-one choice to take over England at this summer's Euro 2012 finals following the departure of Fabio Capello.
But while the Tottenham manager confirmed yesterday that he has yet to discuss the particulars of any improved contract – as well as the possibility of £50m to spend on new players – his chairman Daniel Levy has made encouraging noises that he would be very keen for Redknapp to stay at White Hart Lane for the foreseeable future.
Redknapp, who joined Spurs in October 2008, said: "I'm not saying that Daniel's never said to me that 'We want you to stay' – he says that to me all the time. He's never gone away from that. But I've not actually sat down with him and discussed a contract. There's been no rush to do that. I'm not pushing him.
"This club is a club that is going forward. It's been a great club for many years – a Double-winning one back in the 60s. And it's all in place again now, we have a new training ground coming, a new stadium coming. It's a club with fantastic potential."