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Redknapp dismisses Tottenham exodus fears

13 May 2012 02:46:57

Redknapp dismisses Tottenham exodus fears

Harry Redknapp has denied Tottenham risk losing their biggest players if the club fails to secure a place in the Champions League on Sunday.

Spurs will clinch a place in the top four if they beat Fulham at White Hart Lane in their final Premier League fixture.

And they could overtake north London rivals Arsenal in third place if Arsene Wenger's side fail to beat West Bromwich Albion.

However, should they fall short of qualifying for European football's premier competition - and a Chelsea victory in the Champions League final on May 19 will mean the team that finishes fourth misses out - fresh focus will be thrown on the future of a number of star names.

Gareth Bale and Luke Modric are the two Tottenham players most frequently linked with a move away.

Modric was a target for Chelsea and Manchester United last summer while Bale has been linked with a move to Barcelona after admitting he would have to consider his future if Spurs missed out on the Champions League.

Redknapp, though, believes Tottenham will still have enough pulling power no matter where they finish.

"Luka Modric didn't come here because they were in the Champions League, he came here because they were a good club, he was on decent money and had a chance to play in the Premier League," Redknapp said.

"Are you telling me people aren't going to sign for Chelsea next year if they don't win the Champions League?

"Of course they will. If they are paid the right money and get the right contract, they are going to a fantastic club in London.

"They will still go to Chelsea, they will still go to Liverpool because it is a great club and they will still come to Tottenham because it's a great club.

"If we can finish third it would be great. But if we finish fourth it would still be a great achievement. We would have taken that at the beginning of the season.

"We haven't finished above Chelsea too many times since the Premier League started.

"We will finish above Liverpool and we will have done that for the past couple of years now. Sunday will be a big day. We just have to concentrate on ourselves and get the three points."

Martin Jol knows what it is like to miss out on the top four on the final day with Tottenham.

The Fulham manager was in charge at Spurs when several of his players went down with a stomach bug on the morning of a game with West Ham.

Tottenham lost that game, allowing Arsenal to finish fourth and Jol was eventually sacked from White Hart Lane the following year.

"We were in fourth position for a long time. We had to go to West Ham. Arsenal played at home," Jol recalled.

"We ended up fifth. That was the first time they were above us. I could write a nice chapter over the events that day.

"This is the first time I have been back there. They like what I did there. I like the place. I like the club. It is in my heart, as Fulham is."

But the manager added: "I feel Spurs need to play in the Champions League. But you can't blame me for wanting the three points to get to 55 points.

"There is no pressure on us. We are in a fine position. We wanted to finish in the top 10.

"They are a very good footballing team and there is a lot to play for for them. They will be emotional."

Tottenham's hopes of securing victory will not be helped by the absence of injured left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto and his suspended understudy Danny Rose.


AFP

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