Spurs can attract players without Champions League, insists Redknapp
Harry Redknapp says Tottenham will be able to attract top quality players to White Hart Lane, and keep their current stars, even if they miss out on the Champions League.
Spurs could finish third, fourth or fifth in Sunday’s Premier League finale, with only third spot guaranteeing a spot at Europe’s top table.
A fourth-placed finish will leave the Lilywhites sweating on the result of the Champions League final, as Chelsea take on Bayern Munich next weekend, while fifth place will condemn Redknapp’s side to the Europa League again.
But, whatever happens, the Tottenham manager insists that Spurs will be able to lure big-name stars to north London and hold onto the likes of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale.
“I think [the importance of having] Champions League gets over-hyped a bit,” said Redknapp. “At the end of the day if you pay players good wages and give them a good contract, they will come.
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“They [Modric and Bale] came here before Tottenham were in the Champions League. When Luka came here they were nowhere near the Champions League, I think they were ninth or 10th.
“He didn’t come here because they were in the Champions League, he came here because it’s a good club, they were going to pay him decent money and he was going to get a chance to play in the Premier League.
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“Are we saying that people aren’t going to go to Chelsea this year if they don’t win the Champions League, and they don’t get Champions League football again? Of course they will.
“If they pay the right money and offer the right contract, the players are going to a fantastic club in London - they’ll still go to Chelsea.
“They’ll still go to Liverpool, because it’s a great club, and they’ll still come to Tottenham because it’s a great club.”
Spurs have been heavily linked with Ajax’s defender Jan Vertonghen, but Redknapp is not expecting any imminent action in the transfer market.
“I don’t know where that’s at. I’ve never discussed transfers with the chairman at all,” he said. “I’ve not discussed a single player with him, because we’ve just been waiting to get the season out of the way. We’ll take it from there really, it all depends on Sunday.”
Scott Parker is a doubt for this weekend’s decisive clash with Fulham at the Lane with a sore Achilles, and Redknapp also faces a conundrum at left-back with Benoit-Assou out of action through injury and Danny Rose suspended.
“We have got a problem there obviously, losing Benoit and then Danny,” said the Spurs boss. “It does leave us with a problem, but I’ve got a couple of ideas and we’ll see where we go with it.”
With the end of the campaign just 48 hours away, Redknapp added: “I think it’s been a great season for Tottenham, in terms of the football we’ve played and being up there all year. I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort we got from the players. We’ve had good games, exciting games and played some fantastic free-flowing football.”
And, having undergone minor heart surgery, faced trial at Southwark Crown Court for tax evasion and been prematurely hailed as the next England manager in waiting, Redknapp joked: “I’ve had a quiet year myself. I’ve been a bit bored, I need something to happen. Every day has just been a bit mundane. Hopefully next year something more will happen.”
He added: “What I would like to say is that I’d certainly like to send a message to Steve Perryman.
“Steve is a real legend in the history of Tottenham Hotspur. He played so many times for the club, captained the club.
“He was a great great player and obviously he’s had a little bit of a health problem last week when he was watching Exeter play, and we wish him all the best from everybody at Tottenham. We wish him a full recovery.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs