Harry Redknapp claims he almost signed both Patrick Vieira and Luis Suarez during his time as manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
The current Queens Park Rangers manager has a new book out, titled A Man Walks On To a Pitch, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail. The most recent instalment tells how he was close to luring Arsenal legend Vieira to White Hart Lane, in a move which would have caused much controversy and surprise across the North London divide.
Redknapp has revealed that he met the former France ace at his house in 2009, at a time when the player was still under contract at Internazionale. And he claims the midfielder was unfazed by the likely upset he would have caused the Gunners, but ultimately, he decided to remain at the San Siro before eventually joining Manchester City in 2010.
“I met him at his house in Hampstead and he had no fear about what people would think or what reception he would get. He had enough confidence in his ability to just brush it away,” he said in the Mail. “I remember talking to Daniel Levy, our chairman, about him. He said the crowd would be hostile. I knew that – but if he had enough bottle to want to put on our white shirt after all that had gone before, I thought it said something about the man.”
Redknapp has also claimed that he almost signed Suarez when the Barcelona ace was plying his trade in Holland with Ajax. However, he left it too late and the forward joined Liverpool in 2011, where he would become one of the best players in world football. It is no wonder, then, that the QPR boss admits this is one of the biggest regrets of his career.
“Despite all that has happened in his career since, one of the biggest regrets of my life in management is not taking Luis Suarez to Tottenham when we had the chance,” added the 67-year-old. “Just when I was on the verge of taking the plunge, the price went up. In the end he was sold for £22.8million to Liverpool. We wouldn’t have paid that.”
Tottenham fans, do you think you had a realistic chance of signing either Vieira or Suarez? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.