Manchester City are bemused and indignant that the Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, has chosen to renew his claim that they have bought their way to success in a way that his own club has not.
Redknapp has repeatedly baited City over the past few years and his claim that "you don't have to go out and spend fortunes to find good players" comes after a three-year period in which Spurs have spent £160m on transfers. They are also paying out over £100,000 a week of Emmanuel Adebayor's salary, leaving City paying less than £50,000 and retaining his image rights.
Redknapp, who also claimed yesterday that "we have not done it the easy way and that makes me feel proud" can anticipate an interesting welcome a week tomorrow when his club travel to the Etihad Stadium for a game which could have a bearing on the title.
The Tottenham manager has always taken pleasure in confronting City during a personal battle which began in January 2009, when he claimed City had tried to prevent him signing Craig Bellamy from West Ham by threatening to outbid him for Wilson Palacios, then at Wigan, unless they stepped back. City consulted their legal team when Redknapp restated that allegation in May 2010.
Roberto Mancini's assistant David Platt was deferential towards Spurs yesterday, though he made his point where that club are concerned. "What money has been spent, and everything like that [is irrelevant]," Platt said. "There's no trophy for spending money or not spending money. You get a trophy for being top of the pile. Harry's got a right to be proud of what he's done. I don't know where the money comes into it. He should still be proud if he finishes second and a point behind us. But we'll be happy with that as well."
Rumours that Carlos Tevez might be back in Manchester were robustly dispelled last night, with no prospects of a breakthrough expected this weekend in attempts to secure him a move away from City. Internazionale's "interest" may be tactical, given that tomorrow brings their derby with Milan, who have backed away from signing the Argentine. There seems no prospect of Tevez rejoining Mark Hughes at QPR. City play at Wigan on Monday evening.
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