Jamie Redknapp believes Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will ‘wait as long as he can’ before finally selling Gareth Bale to Real Madrid this summer.
•Crace: Show us the money
The former Tottenham midfielder and son of ex-Spurs boss Harry Redknapp pulled few punches when asked about Levy’s transfer tactics at a Sky Sports 'biggest season of football' event, admitting the Spurs chief was a ‘master’ negotiator, but one who frustrated past managers.
“This is fun time for Daniel, he will be loving it, and I feel sorry for the Real Madrid people having to deal with him,” said Redknapp, who spent time with Levy when his father was in charge of the north London club.
“You are pulling teeth when trying to negotiate with Daniel. Every pound note is a prisoner with Daniel and he will make it so difficult to do this deal. He will try to sell Real Madrid players he doesn’t want as part of the deal, doing everything he can, Daniel is the master at this.
“He will try to take this down to September the 2nd if he can. He did it with Luka Modric and even though he kept him the first summer (when he was a target for Chelsea in 2011). I remember speaking to my Dad at the time and he told me it was a nightmare.
“He didn’t know who was going to be at the club and Modric was sulking and didn’t want to play. It’s so difficult. It’s negativity.
“At the end of the day, this is all about money. You look at the deals they have done in the past near a transfer deadline and Daniel gets the money, but look at the points they drop because of it and that could be the difference between getting into the Champions League or not.”
Redknapp suggests Levy has made some early signings in this transfer window in a bid to banish the theory that the club will be awash with transfer cash when the Bale deal is finally concluded in the coming weeks.
“He has got (Roberto) Soldado in early, he’s buying Etienne Capoue, who is a very good player, and once they get their work done, they will probably sell Gareth Bale,” stated Redknapp. “Daniel knows the price will go up for other players if Spurs sold Bale now. It will happen in the end, like it normally does with Tottenham.
“Gareth Bale wants to go and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity from his point of view, so it will happen. I’ve always believed the deal will happen eventually.
“From Daniel’s point of view as a businessman, if he sells Gareth Bale for £80m tomorrow and then tries to buy Capoue from Toulouse, they want £20 million instead of whatever they are paying for him now. To Daniel, this is a game of poker and Daniel is the best poker player in town.”
Redknapp went on to suggest Tottenham would always be under threat of losing their best players unless they scrap a strict wage structure that he believes has been a factor in a host of star names leaving the club in recent years.
“Until Tottenham change their wage structure, this is always going to be a problem,” added Redknapp. “If you can earn two and a half times your wages somewhere else, it’s always going to be hard to keep their best players.”