Redknapp to raid Pompey for Johnson

Harry Redknapp has identified Portsmouth's full-backs Glen Johnson and the on-loan Algerian international Nadir Belhadj as his January transfer targets, as well as the midfielder Lassana Diarra, after his former club's financial plight was made clear to him last week. It is understood that Redknapp's mind was made up when he was told by the club's hierarchy that the £5m compensation paid for him to become manager of Tottenham Hotspur would "come in useful" at struggling Portsmouth.

The eagerness with which Portsmouth and their chief executive, Peter Storrie, told Redknapp that they had accepted the £5m deal with Spurs demonstrated to him their readiness to accept bids for their players during the next transfer window. Redknapp is keen to sign Johnson (below) and Belhadj, who has been extremely impressive since his loan move from Lens in September. Even Redknapp was said to have been shocked at the speed with which Portsmouth accepted the offer from Spurs.

Redknapp has given squad numbers to five of the players who were left out in the cold by Spurs' sacked manager Juande Ramos at the start of the season. Under the previous regime, Paul Stalteri, Ricardo Rocha, Hossam Ghaly, Adel Taarabt and Kevin-Prince Boateng were told that they were not even permitted to change in the first-team dressing room at the Spurs Lodge headquarters.

At a civic reception today in Portsmouth, Redknapp is due to receive the freedom of the city from Portsmouth city council, along with the rest of his FA Cup-winning squad. It is understood that he has not yet decided whether to attend and the leader of the council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, has said that the event would now have a "different tone" to it after Redknapp's departure.

With Portsmouth's debt of around £30m modest by Premier League standards, they are, however, in a position where they are prepared to invest less as their owner, Sacha Gaydamak, searches for a potential buyer. Storrie has denied that the club will have to sell players in January to stay afloat. However, Redknapp is confident of acquiring the players he needs from Portsmouth. Assistants Tony Adams and Joe Jordan, as well as Sam Allardyce, are both potential candidates to succeed Redknapp, but Portsmouth are considering their options.

Redknapp would also like to bring Portsmouth's highly rated chief scout Ian Broomfield to Spurs to rebuild the scouting network that was changed radically this summer by the former director of football Damien Comolli. Redknapp will meet Tim Sherwood again today to try to persuade the former Spurs midfielder to give up his pundit's role at Setanta Sports and join his back-room team along with assistant Kevin Bond. The goalkeeping coach Hans Leitert, the one survivor from the Ramos regime, is also expected to be moved on in time.

Tottenham made enquiries about Fabio Capello's right-hand man Franco Baldini, who plays an integral role with the England team as a fixer and communicator with the players. Baldini, formerly a director of football at Roma and Real Madrid, had also been a target for West Ham in the past. He turned down Spurs' interest. Poaching a key member of the England set-up would have caused great disquiet at the Football Association.

"It has been very flattering to be linked with the club," Sherwood said. "If I had ever wanted to get back into football, the club I would choose would be Tottenham and the manager I would work for would be Harry Redknapp. I spoke to Harry yesterday and will do again tomorrow. I have to make my mind up whether or not it is the right time to get back into football. It's a great opportunity and I bet there's a queue a mile long to take the job. What it boils down to is if I want to get back into football again and I have to make that decision, because a club like Tottenham and a manager like Harry Redknapp demands that and you wouldn't expect it any other way."

Speaking to the Spurs players for the first time on Saturday, Redknapp said that he had full confidence in them and believed that they could get out of their relegation battle. The Spurs captain, Ledley King, said that Redknapp's presence had been felt immediately by the players. "It feels good after our first win but we realise that there's a long way to go," King said. "He has given us a new confidence, he said there were some brilliant players in the team and he said he believes we can get out of this."

The decision to sack Ramos was taken by Daniel Levy relatively late in the week after he had returned from a business trip to America on Thursday. Up until then the Spurs chairman had been prepared to leave Ramos in charge for the game against Bolton, but conversations with senior figures within the squad convinced him that he had to act quickly.

"It's difficult to put a finger on what was going wrong and sometimes when things are not going right it forces a change," King said. "The chairman felt it was the right time to make a change. Harry's a top manager and I think it's a good appointment. I was sad to see it not work out with Juande, because he led us to our first trophy in a long time."

The issue of King's availability is one of the first major questions to face Redknapp, whose team play Arsenal tomorrow. The condition of the 27-year-old's fitness has long prevented him from playing any more than half or one in three of Spurs' games. With Ramos controversially preferring to use him in cup competitions, Redknapp now has to decide whether to keep parachuting King into the team or settle for a more consistent pairing of Jonathan Woodgate and Vedran Corluka or Michael Dawson.

The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?