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Aug 20, 2010

Redknapp confirms Gallas to sign for Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has confirmed that William Gallas is on the brink of joining the club, describing the signing of the former Arsenal captain as a "no-brainer".

• Gallas in for Spurs medical

Gallas left Arsenal on a free transfer in June having failed to agree a contract extension with the club he joined from Chelsea in 2006. The French defender made 145 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 17 goals.

Following France's disastrous World Cup campaign, Gallas was targeted by Panathinaikos but could not agree personal terms with the Greek side.

Despite reservations over the reaction of Tottenham fans to a former Arsenal captain arriving at the club, Redknapp is determined to strengthen his defensive options with Jonathan Woodgate a long-term injury victim and Ledley King often unable to play two games in a week.

Gallas will undergo a medical on Friday afternoon before making Tottenham the third club he has represented in London.

In recent seasons, David Bentley, Rohan Ricketts and Jamie O'Hara have all crossed the North London divide, while Sol Campbell famously made the reverse journey in 2001.

"He's a no-brainer on a free transfer," Redknapp said. "He's never asked for big money here. The chairman's agreed a one-year contract with him and the wages are more than reasonable.

"He's done nothing wrong. What's he done wrong? He's not the first player to go from Arsenal to Tottenham or Tottenham to Arsenal. It happens all the time. He won championships and all sorts at Chelsea.

"He's a great lad as well, smashing fellow. I've been absolutely really impressed with him. He'll improve Tottenham and that's all I'm concerned about. He wants to come here and play and I think that shows the character. He could say, 'I played at Arsenal; I daren't go there'. He's got the bottle to want to come and play here.

"I don't think his attitude's ever been questioned. The only problem he has, he gets annoyed with people at times - they tell me - who are not as professional as he is, which is not a bad thing. That can't do any harm.

"He wants everybody to be as professional and want to win as much as he does. If he can bring that to this team as well, that'll be a good bonus for us. Whenever we've played against him over the years, I've always thought he was a world-class defender.''

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger did not expect Gallas to move to White Hart Lane, but has dismissed suggestions that the defender was a disruptive influence at Emirates Stadium, despite being stripped of the captaincy for criticising team-mates in public.

Wenger said: "The Spurs move is a surprise, but I can completely understand that. At the moment he looks for a club, he is free, he has chosen the best possible option for him. We are thankful for what he has done for us and we wish him good luck in his new club.

"William has an exaggerated bad reputation. I believe that he is a genuine winner. He wants things not to be done at 90% and is completely focused and motivated to win.

"He can be sometimes, a little bit brutal or impulsive in his reaction - but when you are a manager, he is not someone who talks behind your back. William is somebody who is straight and is completely focused on the game. You respect that."

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