Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp laid all speculation about his White Hart Lane future to rest this week when he signed a two-year extension to his contract, keeping him in North London until 2013.
He has taken Spurs from the EPL’s relegation zone to Champions League qualification in less than two seasons, and was rewarded with the new deal after reportedly receiving a £3m-per-year offer from Dubai-based United Arab Emirates club Al Ahli.
The £3m was especially tempting as the money was tax-free. But Redknapp turned down the offer from the club’s owner, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. And the job subsequently went to former Leeds United boss David O’Leary.
The 63-year-old was also linked strongly to the England job in the wake of England’s poor showing in the World Cup Finals, before Fabio Capello’s position was re-affirmed.
Spurs have inevitably been heavily involved in close season transfer speculation, with particular attention focused on the prospect of the former West Ham boss teaming up with his former West Ham charge Joe Cole, released by Chelsea last month.
Redknapp has made it clear that he wants to sign the 28-year-old England international. But he has suggested that Cole will have to temper his wage demands, which have reportedly led to at least one move to another EPL club breaking down.
Redknapp said: “I would like Joe here with me, but it is now up to the club and up to Joe, his agent and his dad, and our chairman, who is talking to them to try and do a deal.
“If it is beyond us in financial terms I am hoping that other factors will come into play to make up Joe’s mind.”
Despite repeated insistences that Redknapp is happy with his current squad, the club have been linked with players such as Sevilla’s Brazilian international striker Luis Fabiano, who scored three times in the Selecao’s failed World Cup campaign.
Other names linked with moves to White Hart Lane have included Manchester City’s Welsh international forward Craig Bellamy, who nearly joined Spurs before moving to Eastlands in January 2009, Everton’s South African star Steven Pienaar and Olympique Marseille’s Nigerian left-back Taye Taiwo.
However, the only confirmed addition to last season’s squad is midfielder Sandro from Brazilian club Internacional, a deal agreed last March.
Spurs began their pre-season schedule last Saturday with a 4-0 win at one of Redknapp’s old cash-strapped clubs AFC Bournemouth.
However, the club this week confirmed that midfielder David Bentley damaged right ankle ligaments during the match and will miss the Lilywhites’ forthcoming tour of the United States in order to have treatment.
Spurs announced last week that they have concluded a two-year, £20m shirt sponsorship deal with “software infrastructure company” Autonomy.
The deal, replacing their arrangement with internet casino group Mansion, is for EPL matches only and Spurs are hoping to further improve on that £34m, four-year deal by having separate sponsors for their shirts in cup competitions, including the Champions League.
Tags: Tottenham Hotspur, Harry Redknapp, Spurs, Joe Cole, EPL, Luis Fabiano, David Bentley