Redknapp: Chelsea hijacked Quaresma

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has revealed he was all set to bring Inter Milan winger Ricardo Quaresma to White Hart Lane – until London rivals Chelsea hijacked the deal. The out-of-favour Portuguese winger signed for his former national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at Stamford Bridge just minutes before the winter transfer window slammed shut. But Redknapp told he spoke to Inter coach Jose Mourinho about a possible move for Quaresma over dinner with his wife on Sunday evening. “I took my wife out for dinner on Sunday night – a little Italian restaurant in Poole, where we live – I think we were the only two people in there,” he said.   “I answered the phone to Jose Mourinho talking about football and players and I was going to take Quaresma, but unfortunately in the end he went to Chelsea.” The former Portsmouth boss also dismissed speculation that Jermain Jenas would have been brokered in a swap deal. He said: “Jermain Jenas’s name was never mentioned.” Redknapp did complete one last-minute deal, bringing striker Robbie Keane back to the capital after a six-month sojourn at Liverpool. And the Spurs boss believes his new captain will help steer the club clear of the relegation whirlpool. “It was a difficult choice. We’ve got several good captains – Jonathan Woodgate, Jermaine Jenas and Ledley King," he said. “But unfortunately Ledley has had injuries and hasn’t played as much as we’d like him to have done, so I’ve brought Robbie back and given him the captaincy. “His character and fantastic ability are going to be important. He’s going to be a big player for us.” Redknapp rejected, Liverpool manager, Rafa Benitez’s claim that Keane had choked under the pressure at Anfield. “He didn’t find the pressure too much. Robbie Keane has played at Inter Milan and for his country. He’s played at the top level all his life,” he said. “Rafa is entitled to his opinion for sure – he’s the manager for Liverpool, he sees it however he wants to see it – but I wouldn’t question anything being too much for Robbie Keane.”

Harry Redknapp was speaking at the HMV Football Extravaganza, which has so far raised more than £3.5 million for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.

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