BEIRUT

Football

Moyes favorite to replace Rednapp at Spurs

A picture taken on May 6, 2012 shows Tottenham Hotspur's English manager Harry Redknapp before the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park in Birmingham, West Midlands. (AFP PHOTO/OLLY GREENWOOD)

BEIRUT: Tottenham have sacked manager Harry Redknapp after almost four years in charge at White Hart Lane, with Everton’s David Moyes the favorite to succeed the 65-year-old.

Redknapp spent Wednesday locked in talks with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, but negotiations over a contract extension broke down, with Levy deciding that his role as manager was no longer tenable.

"This is not a decision the board and I have taken lightly,” Levy told the club’s website.

“Harry arrived at the club at a time when his experience and approach was exactly what was needed.

“This decision in no way detracts from the excellent work Harry has done during his time with the club, and I should like to thank him for his achievements and contribution.

“Harry will always be welcome at the Lane.”

Redknapp seemed to take the decision in stride, showing no bitterness and describing the club and its fans as “special.”

“I have had a fantastic four years with the club; at times the football has been breathtaking,” he told BBC Radio Five Live.

“I am sad to be leaving but wish to thank the players, staff and fans for their terrific support during my time there.”

Redknapp was appointed in October 2008, following the sacking of Juande Ramos, with Spurs having taken just two points from their first eight games.

That season, Redknapp led them to an eighth-place finish and an appearance in the League Cup final, where they lost to Manchester United on penalties.

The next season, Redknapp guided Tottenham to Champions League qualification for the first time in their history, with Spurs playing excellent football and beating Inter and AC Milan as they reached the quarterfinals.

When Fabio Cappello resigned as England manager earlier this year, Redknapp was immediately tapped as the favorite for the job. Yet Spurs’ formed stuttered; although they finished in fourth place, they failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Despite his dismissal, Redknapp revealed he has no plans to call time on his career, citing Man United’s Sir Alex Ferguson as an example of how a manager can continue well into his seventies.

“You cannot sit around moping. That's not my game,” he told the BBC.

“I love football. I would suit any job. I don't think I am coming to the end of my career.

“Alex Ferguson is in his seventies and is still the best manager in the world. I am as fit as a fiddle.”

Moyes, who looks set to replace Redknapp, has an excellent reputation in the game, having performed miracles at the Merseyside club on an extremely tight budget. The Scot has received several invitations in the past to leave Goodison Park, yet has always chosen to stay loyal to the club and his players.

Nevertheless, the former Preston North End manager has recently shown signs of frustration at Everton, and chances that he will lead the Toffees for an 11th season are beginning to look slim.

Former European and World Player of the Year Kaka has apparently decided to leave Real Madrid.

Kaka cost the Spanish champions 56 million pounds when he signed from AC Milan, but has often struggled to replicate the sparkling form which led Milan to the Serie A and Champions League titles.

Sao Paulo President Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes spoke of a conversation with the Brazilian international in which the player revealed his intention to leave Madrid.

“Kaka believes that England or Spain would be two interesting destinations for him,” Lopes said, in a development that will undoubtedly interest both Manchester City and Chelsea.

“Sao Paulo cannot deal with his astronomical contract. It is out of the reality of Brazilian football, even for the mighty Corinthians,” he continued.

The player is reportedly available for as little as 20 million pounds.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich intends to make a move for Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa after having secured the services of manager Roberto Di Matteo for two more years.

Di Matteo won the Champions League and the FA Cup in his three month spell at the club following the sacking of Andre Villas Boas, with the Blues now ramping up their recruitment efforts.

Chelsea representatives have approached Newcastle about a transfer and are hopeful of an 18 million pound deal despite the northeast club demanding 26 million pounds for the French international.

Arsenal are set to act on their interest in Russia’s Euro 2012 free-scoring midfielder Alan Dzagoev, with boss Arsene Wenger keen to capture the player for a bargain 13 million pounds.

German daily Bild reports that Wenger is an admirer of Dzagoev, and will make a move in anticipation of Andrey Arshavin’s permanent return to Zenit St. Petersburg.

The 21-year-old has scored three goals in two appearances for Russia at the tournament, but the CSKA Moscow player has only six months remaining on his current deal.

Juventus are planning to send former player and current director Pavel Nedved to meet with Robin van Persie, hopeful that the former Czech international will be able to convince the Dutchman to commit to a move to the Italian champions.

Metro reports that Italy’s Old Lady are keen to steal a march on circling Man City, with the club believed to have already assembled a package to tempt him to Turin.

Arsenal have offered van Persie a three-year, 130,000 pound a week deal as well as a 5 million pound signing-on fee. He will likely decide where his future lies once Euro 2012 comes to an end.

Milan are reportedly having second thoughts about selling Thiago Silva, with the Italian giants eager to avoid a player exodus should the Brazilian defender be sold.

Sportmediaset claim that should Silva be sold, Milan would face losing a number of their star players, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng, with Antonio Cassano having said Wednesday he would reconsider staying with the team should the Brazilian be sold.

Ibrahimovic has previously stated that the side need “four to five players to be competitive,” and would undoubtedly demand answers should the club’s best defender be sold.

Both Real Madrid and Man Utd are said to be interested in former Spurs and Portsmouth midfielder Boateng.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 15, 2012, on page 14.

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