Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, has revealed he failed in an attempt to sign Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez in the January transfer window.
Redknapp rejected claims by Vedran Corluka that his failure to manage the demands on his players could cost the club a top-four finish in the Premier League. Instead, he maintained yesterday that his one regret this season was the failure to add more depth to his squad at the turn of the year when a move to exploit Tevez's fractured relationship with his club came to nothing.
"I am very happy with what I have done," he said. "Maybe, if I could have I would improved a little bit more in the window but we didn't feel the right players were available.
"I said to the chairman 'Can you get me Carlos Tevez'. It wasn't possible, but that was my dream, 'Can we get Tevez'. We would have loved Tevez, but it wasn't doable because his wages are whatever they are – £200,000 a week, it's not possible at Tottenham to buy him.
"It was me thinking, 'He's not in the team, he's fallen out with [Roberto] Mancini'. You don't know do you, unless you ask. It was just a little try."
Tevez would be a welcome addition to the squad after a disastrous run that has seen Tottenham drop out of the top four and could see them in sixth by the time they face Blackburn Rovers at White Hart Lane tomorrow.
Redknapp, though, insisted his side have performed well without getting the results, with the home defeat to Norwich on Easter Monday as the main exception, and dismissed out of hand the claims of Corluka, currently on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, that he has not rotated the squad sufficiently.
"No players have ever come to me and said: 'Gaffer I feel tired'," he said. "If they said that then I would have left them out. Some of their stats have gone down but that's because they have not wanted to run about enough, it's not because they are particularly knackered.
"I didn't play any of them in the Uefa Cup, FA Cup, most of them didn't play until the later rounds so, the players have probably played on average 30 games this year which I don't think is a lot. Frank Lampard plays how many games a season? Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra are not being rotated, so it's a load of nonsense. It's an excuse."
"As soon as you lose a couple of games everyone has an opinion. I am very happy with what I have done. I couldn't have done any more."
Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor should return to the side after missing last weekend's defeat at Queen's Park Rangers but Benoît Assou-Ekotto is out for the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder.