Harry Redknapp has emerged as a shock target to become Liverpool’s new manager. Standard Sport understands that the Merseyside club are considering making a move for the 65-year-old having sacked Kenny Dalglish last week.
Redknapp is believed to have shot up their wish-list after Frank de Boer, Jurgen Klopp, Didier Deschamps and Brendan Rodgers ruled themselves out of the running.
Liverpool still have some candidates interested in the job, including former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, ex-England boss Fabio Capello, Wigan coach Roberto Martinez as well as former Reds manager Rafael Benitez.
However, their desire for Redknapp, who has just one year left on his contract at Tottenham, is a stunning new development.
It is believed Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, have been impressed with the job Redknapp has done at White Hart Lane and the style of football he plays.
Spurs only missed out on qualifying for the Champions League because Chelsea — who also has Redknapp on their list of candidates for the manager’s job at Stamford Bridge — won the competition.
But there has been speculation that the relationship between Redknapp and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has been deteriorating.
Redknapp’s link with the England job following Capello’s resignation in February sparked a major slump in the team’s form and a run of one win in nine games ensured they slipped from third, which would have seen them make Europe’s premier club competition, behind Arsenal into fourth.
Significantly, Redknapp has yet to sign a contract extension and while he insisted last week that he wanted to stay at White Hart Lane, he also confirmed that no talks with Levy had been planned.
However, should Liverpool pursue their interest in Redknapp, they will be aware that Levy will demand compensation for the 12 months remaining on his contract.
Another stumbling block would be whether the former West Ham boss would want to manage a club in the north of England.
Redknapp lives on the south coast and that was the main reason he rejected the chance to manage Newcastle in 2008.
Spurs have already begun working on securing their transfer targets, including Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen, Marseille striker Loic Remy and trying to agree a permanent deal with Manchester City for Emmanuel Adebayor.
But despite seeing a number of approaches rebuffed, Liverpool’s owners still feel that getting the chance to take over at Anfield will be tough for anyone to turn down. The summer is set to be a tense one for Spurs as they struggle to keep hold of their best players now its the Europa League instead of the Champions League.
Standard Sport revealed earlier in the season that Luka Modric had been promised a £100,000-a-year contract should the club finish in the top four and secure Champions League football.
Chelsea’s unexpected triumph, though, means that the Croatia international, who had a transfer request rejected last summer in the light of three bids from the Blues, is now expected to quit White Hart Lane.
Spurs will demand over £40million for his signature and would prefer him to move abroad. Real Madrid is interested while Chelsea, Manchester United and City will not be put off.
Gareth Bale is also a target for Barcelona and Real and hinted he would consider leaving if Spurs failed to secure a place in Europe’s premier club competition next season.
There are also doubts about Jermain Defoe’s Spurs future. The England striker started just nine Premier League games this season and wants to be more involved.
He told talkSPORT today: “It’s a difficult one, I’ve never said I want to leave the club, I’ve just said I want to play.
“As a forward you just want to get some sort of rhythm and a run in the team. That wasn’t the case towards the end of the season.
“I’m just going to see what happens. I’m going to concentrate on England and Euro 2012. The most important thing for me is scoring goals.”
Defoe also stressed the importance of Spurs retaining their star players.
He said: “It’s always important to keep hold of your top players but in football you never know what will happen. But Luka and Gareth, they’re top players who you can’t replace, so we have to keep them.”