Belfast Telegraph

Redknapp admits Modric may leave Spurs for Manchester City

By Jack Pitt-Brooke

Harry Redknapp suggested yesterday that Luka Modric could be interested in a lucrative move this summer, with Roberto Mancini admitting his admiration for the Tottenham midfielder.

"If somebody's going to offer him £200,000 a week, it probably could turn his head a little bit," Redknapp said after hearing about Roberto Mancini's comments.

The Manchester City manager had said that Modric was "an outstanding footballer, a great player", but admitted it would be difficult to sign him. "He is definitely one of the best in the Premier League," Mancini said, "but it is by no means easy to get him because he plays for a big club, Tottenham. It is unlikely that they would let him leave."

The Tottenham manager would not go as far as predicting his midfielder's off-season plans, though: "I don't know. Only Luka knows what he wants to do with his life. We want to keep him at Tottenham, we need to keep him, we love him, he's fantastic."

Redknapp said yesterday that the possibility of finishing fourth and still not qualifying for next season's Champions League was a motivation in the contest for third place.

Should Chelsea win the Champions League but finish fifth in the Premier League – the position they currently hold – they would go straight into the Champions League group stage, relegating the fourth-placed team to the Europa League.

"If it happens, it happens, what can you do?" Redknapp said yesterday. "You still know you've finished fourth, and that's why we want to finish third, and let Arsène [Wenger] have the problem." The Tottenham manager does not believe, though, that the scenario is particularly likely, given the competition. Chelsea won 1-0 at Benfica in midweek, making them favourites to reach a semi-final with either Barcelona or Milan. Should they win that, they would likely face either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid in the final.

"They've got to win it," Redknapp said of Chelsea's chances. "Having watched Barcelona play, I wouldn't want to say [Chelsea] have got no chance. But it's going to be tough, let's be honest. I think anyone beating Real Madrid and Barcelona this year – if you can beat them you deserve whatever you get. It's not impossible, but it's tough, because those two teams are on another level."

Tottenham's Premier League campaign continues tomorrow afternoon when Swansea City come to White Hart Lane.

Redknapp was effusive in his praise for Brendan Rodgers yesterday, saying that he was among his top two picks for Manager of the Year, having taken Swansea to 10th place in their first top-flight season since 1983.

"Brendan Rodgers has got to be right there for manager of the year," he said. "But so too has Paul Lambert of Norwich, he has done a good job too. Us Premier League managers will see how things go for the next four or five weeks and then we will take a look at it. All Premier League managers vote."

Redknapp believes that the quality of football Rodgers has introduced at Swansea means that he could work in almost any other job. "He would not look out of place anywhere would he?" the Tottenham manager said. "He has certainly got them playing some good football.

"I just can't speak highly enough of the job that Brendan's done there," Redknapp continued. "He's done an amazing job the way he's got them playing this year. It's fantastic that a team can come up and play the way they've played, pass the ball as they've passed the ball.

"They're fearless. They take the ball in tight situations, they play from the back, they play a game that the fans have to buy into as well. You have got to have a lot of nerve to keep playing that way."

The success of Rodgers and Lambert showed the benefits of trusting young British managers, Redknapp added: "Of course, if you give them a chance it shows you what they can do. The only way young boys can get a job in the Premier League is to get a team promoted."

Belfast Telegraph


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