TOTTENHAM Hotspur today announced that Harry Redknapp is to leave his post as manager.
Redknapp and agent Paul Stretford spent yesterday in negotiations with chairman Daniel Levy and it became clear last night the former Portsmouth boss was close to ending his three-and-a-half-year tenure at White Hart Lane.
The 65-year-old had one year left on his contract and is thought to have been unhappy with Levy's failure to offer him a new three-year deal.
Levy said: "This is not a decision the board and I have taken lightly.
"Harry arrived at the club at a time when his experience and approach was exactly what was needed.
"This decision in no way detracts from the excellent work Harry has done during his time with the club and I should like to thank him for his achievements and contribution. Harry will always be welcome at the Lane."
Redknapp added: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Spurs and am proud of my achievements. I have had a fantastic four years with the club, at times the football has been breathtaking.
"I am sad to be leaving but wish to thank the players, staff and fans for their terrific support during my time there."
Everton boss David Moyes was today the odds-on favourite to replace Redknapp, whose failure to secure Champions League football looks to have led to his impending departure.
Only on Tuesday Redknapp dismissed speculation he was on his way out as "an outrage".
Negotiations over a new deal for Redknapp have stalled since the start of the year when Redknapp, who guided Spurs to fourth place in the Premier League last season, was linked with the then vacant England manager's job.
In the past week Redknapp has made it known he would be uncomfortable heading into the new season without a longer deal while also defending his relationship with Levy.
It has been claimed Levy was only willing to offer a rolling 12-month contract whereas Redknapp is thought to have wanted a longer deal, making the Spurs job his last in management.
Redknapp did achieve Levy's goal of reaching the top four last term, but Spurs missed out on playing in the Champions League after Chelsea's penalty shootout final triumph over Bayern Munich.
An exit may seem harsh on Redknapp but critics point to the fact his team would have qualified directly for Europe's premier club competition had they not thrown away a 10-point lead over Arsenal .
The news was met with disbelief by former Spurs defender John Scales.
"I am staggered that a manager who took the club to fourth, fifth and fourth again has gone," he said. "Even though we lost out to Chelsea at the end, it has been another fantastic season."