Redknapp eyes summer spree
Harry Redknapp has stated his desire to spend big this summer whether or not Tottenham qualify for the Champions League, and he insisted prospective signings would not care whether or not Spurs were in the competition.
The lure of Champions League football is often cited as a factor in a club's ability to attract top talent, but Redknapp said it is solely large wages that tempt players and that he would be active in the transfer market regardless of whether Tottenham steal fourth place from Manchester City.
Should Spurs fail to qualify for back-to-back Champions League campaigns, Redknapp said, there is even more reason for chairman Daniel Levy to splash the cash as the Tottenham manager looks to push his side on to the next level.
"There shouldn't be two transfer scenarios,'' Redknapp said. "If you want to get into the Champions League again you have to keep improving. People say 'If we get in the Champions League we'll buy some great players' but if you don't buy some great players you won't get in the Champions League. That's how it works.
"And people would come here anyway. If you pay them the wages, they'll come. We all kid ourselves. Players say 'I've wanted to play for Tottenham since I was two? I had pictures of Jimmy Greaves on my wall'. It's a load of bull**** isn't it? Here's £80,000 a week. Lovely jubbly! You pay the wages and they'll come. If you don't they will go somewhere where they'll get it. That's football."
The hunt for a world-class striker is Redknapp's top priority and Levy is thought to have made club-record bids for Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and Giuseppe Rossi in January. Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is another who has been mentioned more recently while Redknapp also had praise for Football Writers' Assocation Footballer of the Year winner Scott Parker of West Ham.
Redknapp lodged a bid to sign the 30-year-old last summer but the emergence of Brazil midfielder Sandro means his interest in Parker has cooled, even though he could be available on the cheap if West Ham go down.
"We liked him but I don't think we ever got close to signing him really,'' Redknapp said. "They were asking for £15million and that's a lot of money for his age, but we have got plenty of midfielders. Sandro looks like he could be a good player. We have got Tom (Huddlestone), Luka (Modric), Jermaine Jenas and Wilson (Palacios).''
Drogba has been in fine form recently but could leave Stamford Bridge this summer. Redknapp was coy on whether he would make a move for the Ivory Coast man if he decided to leave.
"Drogba is still a fantastic player, who knows,'' he said. "It's up to Chelsea what they do, he's been a great player for them. He's a fantastic centre-forward. Power, strength, he's got everything and he scores goals as well. He plays for Chelsea and until they decide otherwise, you can't speculate about his future.''
Redknapp welcomes Roy Hodgson's West Brom to White Hart Lane on Saturday as he looks to build on Wednesday's thrilling 3-3 draw with Arsenal. Rafael van der Vaart scored twice to end his two-month goal drought and Redknapp admits his top scorer's form could be key to pipping City to fourth.
"Rafa was outstanding the other day,'' said Redknapp, who is likely to be without Gareth Bale tomorrow because of a knee injury. "He's a match winner. He's scored more goals than our strikers this season. If he goes on a run of scoring goals between now and the end of the season it could make a difference for us.''