Harry Redknapp has again repeated that Tottenham blundered in their handling of potential signings Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, who ended up going to Chelsea.
The former Spurs and QPR boss left the North London club in 2012 but has regularly said one of his biggest disappointments as boss was missing out on the Belgian attacker. “I was with Hazard in Paris, four hours I spent with him. He wanted to come to Tottenham, but the deal dragged on and didn’t happen,” Redknapp told talkSPORT.
Redknapp has been less vocal about the club coming close to landing Courtois but he claims this deal also should have been completed.
“The goalkeeper, Courtois, we had him for next to nothing when he was 17 and that was another deal that dragged on forever and we didn’t get it over the line. He should have been at Tottenham.
“If we had of bought one or two players in at that time that we could have got, I felt we would have had a team capable of winning the league. The Hazard deal dragged on too long. It’s a deal that should have been done.”
Of course, it is difficult for anyone to say really just how close the deal was to going through. But one thing for certain is that Chelsea were also in the running. And while Spurs blew a title challenge to end up finishing fourth, the Blues struggled to a sixth place finish.
Normally that would have been enough to ensure the player opted for the side that finished in the Champions League places. However, on this occasion, Chelsea somehow managed to win Europe’s elite competition against Bayern Munich – having been totally outplayed by the Germans and Barcelona before them in the semi-final.
The anomaly, of course, meant that for the only season in Champions League history, a team [Spurs] that qualified for the competition via their league finish had to make way for the winners [Chelsea] to defend their title the following season.
Hazard, no doubt keen to wait and see which of his potential suitors would be in the Champions League the following season, ended up sitting tight before making his choice after the Blues had lifted the trophy.
Rather than Tottenham’s hesitancy in securing Hazard’s transfer, maybe this had more to do with why he chose Chelsea in the end.