Harry Redknapp has moved to deny rumours that circulated across the internet that he had resigned his position as Tottenham Hotspur manager. That the gossip was taken as so credible by so many people indicates that Redknapp’s standing at White Hart Lane is a little insecure.
Quite why that should be the case is not really clear. In most other summers Tottenham would be preparing now for an assault on the Champions League, a reward for finishing in the top four of the Premier League. Then Chelsea intervened. The Blues’ victory in the tournament itself cast Spurs into the Europa League and in the process, and combined with a number of other factors, cast doubt onto Redknapp’s future at the club.
The speculation truly began in February, when Fabio Capello resigned as England Head Coach. The
There are question marks hanging over a host of players important to the Tottenham cause of a year ago. Ledley King, the Guardian reports, could retire. Rafael van der Vaart, according to the Daily Mail, is wanted by Schalke 04. The same newspaper claims Gareth Bale is still wanted by Barcelona. And Luka Modric is the subject of a bidding war between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, the Daily Mirror revealed on Tuesday. Together with Emmanuel Adebayor, who has returned to Manchester City after a season-long loan and may be out of Spurs’ price range, the Daily Telegraph has said, there are almost half-a-dozen prominent figures at the club who may not be there next season.
Those players looking to leave would likely be better convinced to stay if Champions League football was on offer. Similarly, even those players content at Tottenham would be less vulnerable to other suitors if Spurs were in the Champions League, not the Europa League. The financiers at Tottenham would have the greater income of the Champions League to call upon, removing the temptation to sell a Modric or a Bale for big money. Likewise, Champions League participation could free up more money to give to Adebayor, even if his £175,000 per week drawn from City would remain out of reach. A number of the stories linking players with moves away also touch on the doubt surrounding Redknapp.
Redknapp himself would be in a stronger position too. With a year to go on his current deal every day that passes without news of an extension further adds to the doubt. But if Redknapp had taken Spurs back to the Champions League, the pressure would be on Daniel Levy to renew the contract, removing the leeway for the chairman to consider his options. Redknapp was vehement in his denial that he had resigned but until an announcement on a new contract is forthcoming, the rumour mill will run and run.
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