Redknapp drops Drogba hint as 'superb' striker poised for Blues exit
Published 23/04/2011 | 05:00
Harry Redknapp has suggested he would like to sign Didier Drogba should Chelsea sell the striker in the summer.
The Tottenham manager said Drogba was "still a superb player" but added of the Ivorian's future: "It's up to Chelsea what they do."
Asked whether he would be interested if, as appears likely, Drogba was put up for sale, Redknapp said: "He's a fantastic centre-forward -- power, strength, he's got everything. He plays for Chelsea and until they decide otherwise, you can't speculate about his future. But he's a good player."
Drogba's future is in severe doubt, however. He has one year left on his contract and is unlikely, after the arrival of Fernando Torres, to receive the assurances he wants that he remains the club's first-choice striker.
However, Chelsea have not yet decided whether to sell and will not let Drogba go without a substantial transfer fee. They may also prefer him to move abroad to Marseille rather than go to Spurs.
The Stamford Bridge club are considering their options for the next campaign with a variety of players, including Belgian teenager Romelu Lukaku and Brazil international Neymar, under discussion.
Even if Redknapp wanted to bid for Drogba, he may have a big problem persuading Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to pay a substantial fee and take on a contract which yields the player more than £100,000 a week for a striker who is already 33.
Levy has previously vetoed Redknapp's plans to sign players -- such as Matthew Upson and David James -- who are over 30 if it involved a fee, although the manager is keen to boost his attacking options and wants to sign a striker with the power and presence of Drogba .
Spurs are expected to be active this summer, with Redknapp brushing aside concerns that failure to qualify for the Champions League may affect who will sign.
"If you pay them wages they'll come," he said. "We kid ourselves 'I've always wanted to play for Tottenham since I was two, had a picture of Jimmy Greaves on my wall'. It's a load of ********. Here's £80,000 a week, lovely jubbly. If you pay them the wages they'll come. If you don't they'll go somewhere else they can get it."
Drogba's future may also be tied to what happens to manager Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian's expected departure could lead to an overhaul of the squad, with owner Roman Abramovich making it clear he wants Torres to lead the attack. (© Daily Telegraph, London)