Redknapp: I wanted Suarez, Carroll and Downing
Published 21:01 16/09/11 By Neil McLeman
Harry Redknapp has revealed his regret at losing out to Liverpool in the race to land Luis Suarez.
And the Tottenham boss admitted the Anfield club also outbid Spurs to sign Newcastle target-man Andy Carroll and Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing.
Liverpool travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday, for a match between two teams desperate to return to the Champions League next season.
But Redknapp reckons counterpart Kenny Dalglish’s top-four bid has been boosted by serious backing in the last two transfer windows from the Reds' new American owners - a spending spree that started with the £57.8m double purchase of Carroll and Suarez on the last day of the January window.
“We thought about Andy Carroll,” Redknapp admitted. “We looked at him, but we weren’t into spending £35million on one player. It was a bit beyond us. We did look at him.
"We looked at Suarez, to be fair. That was a player who we probably should have taken, looking back on it. We just weren’t sure. The fee was £30-odd million [Suarez cost Liverpool £22.8m], and that’s a lot of money.
"We were really looking for a target-man but I have seen him play up on his own and he can do that and he can play off [a target-man] too.
“We just thought he played a bit like Van der Vaart, but he can play anywhere. He is fantastic. He is top class. Uruguayans are tough boys, aren’t they? He can do anything, so he is a good player.”
Redknapp, who disagreed with his chairman Daniel Levy over the potential sale of midfielder Luka Modric to Chelsea this summer, has bought West Ham midfielder Scott Parker and signed Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor on loan this summer.
But he hinted at his frustration over missing out on two other targets.
“I like Downing,” he said. “I tried to get him and Ashley Young [who moved from Villa to Manchester United]. Those are the players who we tried to get. We were in for them at different times over the last few years. We didn’t quite push the boat out, but they are good players.”
The £50m sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea kick-started Dalglish’s busy year of transfer activity.
“That gave them something to work with. They have got wealthy owners and they want to be back where they were - a top four team,” Redknapp said.
“Liverpool is one of the greatest football clubs in the world and they don’t want to be out of the Champions League. They want to be back in there. They have invested trying to do that.
"It will be them, us and Arsenal scrapping it out for the Champions League this year.”
Tottenham will recall the 10 first-team players they left behind in London when they went to Greece for their goalless Europa League draw with PAOK FC as they seek a first home win of the season.
That means even stand-in skipper Sebastien Bassong, who was outstanding against PAOK, will return to the bench, with Ledley King and Younes Kaboul the likely starters at centre-back.
Bassong, an £8m signing who scored on his Spurs debut against Liverpool in August 2009, has made only two appearances this season, both in the Europa League.
“I am human and I have got feelings, but at the end of the day I am paid to play football and train properly and when the manager needs me on the pitch, I will do my best,” said the Cameroon defender.
“That is part of football. The only thing I can do is work and wait and we will see what happens.
"Things can change quickly, so I have just got to keep going. I will have my time maybe - I had my time maybe.
"It is not that easy, but you have got to be prepared. I just have to work and wait - that is life.”