Tottenham's Redknapp aims to Gun down Cole's Arsenal move
HARRY Redknapp has announced his desire to sign Joe Cole in a last-ditch bid to stop the England international from sealing a deal with north London rivals Arsenal. Cole plans to leave Chelsea this summer on a free transfer...
By Ben Pearce
HARRY Redknapp has announced his desire to sign Joe Cole in a last-ditch bid to stop the England international from sealing a deal with north London rivals Arsenal.
Cole plans to leave Chelsea this summer on a free transfer and the Gunners have stolen a march in the race to sign the 29-year-old, who grew up in Camden Town and attended St Aloysius' College on Hornsey Lane in Islington.
Arsene Wenger is keen to boost Arsenal's 'home-grown' contingent, according to Uefa rules which will be adopted in the Premier League from August.
And Redknapp has been forced to publicise his own interest in a late bid to turn his former player's head, begging Cole to delay a deal with Arsenal and speak to Spurs after the World Cup.
"Yes, I am prepared to declare my interest in Joe Cole, why not. He is a great player, his contract is up and he is on a free transfer," said Redknapp.
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"I have genuinely not spoken to Joe about coming to Spurs, he is at the World Cup and quite rightly he needs to concentrate on trying to win it with England. But when he returns I would love to talk to him about coming to Spurs.
"For free he would be a fantastic signing for anybody, and I have seen him linked with Arsenal and Manchester United among others, which just shows you the quality of the player.
"I am looking for the right player to make a difference, and I would have to say that Joe Cole is one of the few players who would fit into that category. We shall have to wait and see, but for sure he would be the right option for me, if it was possible."
Redknapp has frequently voiced his praise for Cole in the past, hailing him the most gifted youngster he has ever seen after introducing him to the Premier League at West Ham back in 1999 as a 17-year-old.
The Spurs boss has a history of reuniting himself with his former prot�g�s, having bought Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch four times in the last two and a half years.
In fact, Redknapp used these same tactics to lure Crouch to White Hart Lane last summer, publicly voicing his interest in the England striker to torpedo an imminent move to Sunderland and spark a dramatic U-turn.
However, the Tottenham manager fears that he is too late on this occasion, revealing that Cole may already have agreed a move to a rival club.
"It looks to me that someone's going to make a great free transfer, if he doesn't stay at Chelsea. I don't think it's going to be Tottenham. I've got a feeling, I may be wrong, that he's already agreed a deal with someone, and it's not Tottenham," he said.
"I'm a big fan of Joe's, but the feedback we've had is that he might well have already done something.