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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Harry Redknapp wants Ashley Cole and Robbie Keane at Birmingham

Harry Redknapp is ambitious about what he wants to achieve as manager of Birmingham.

Birmingham manager Harry Redknapp has told Sky Sports he would be interested in signing Ashley Cole, Stewart Downing and Robbie Keane if they are available.

The former Tottenham, West Ham and QPR manager saved Birmingham from relegation and hopes to challenge for at least a place in the top six ahead of his first full season in charge.

"Ashley Cole, for me, was the best left-back in the world a few years ago. He was just a fantastic player," Redknapp said.

"He's out in America. I don't know what Ashley's plans are. His name was mentioned to me. When you have a chance to get someone like him, if he's available, he has to be of interest.

"Stewart Downing is a proper player, got a great left foot, he's fit as a fiddle. Whether we could afford him I don't know. Wage-wise I don't know where we would go with it, I haven't got a clue what he earns, and he belongs to Middlesbrough, but I think they've said he can go on a free, so he's of interest.

"Robbie Keane is a proper player; a great professional and infectious character. He's a great trainer. He would be wonderful around the dressing room, showing people how you become a top-class pro for so many years.

"He knows he wouldn't play every week but just to have him around ... I'm sure he'd fight tooth and nail to get a regular place in the team. They're all interesting but until you speak to them, you don't know.

"They're not over the hill. I went to Portsmouth in the same sort of situation. I went there and took Paul Merson, Steve Stone, Tim Sherwood -- all fantastic professionals. They were proper blokes, proper men and we won the league. You want them to blend in with the younger ones.

"My ambition is for us to be in the top group this year, at least make the play-offs. Anything other than that wouldn't be a success for me. But to do that you need good players."

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