Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp admitted he would like to sign wantaway Manchester United star Wayne Rooney as his team prepare for their biggest European game in decades.
Spurs are in Italy to take on Inter Milan in Champions League Group A knowing that a victory on Wednesday would put them within sight of the knock-out stages.
But Redknapp’s mind was on other things following the announcement from Sir Alex Ferguson earlier in the day that the 24-year-old wants out from Old Trafford.
“I’m going to speak to my chairman and see if we can get Rooney to Tottenham,” joked Redknapp from Milan’s San Siro. “But I doubt very much whether that will happen.
“I haven’t seen Alex’s interview but I’m sure that its honest and its open and if he’s explained it openly then that’s got to be good.
“I think these things need to come out in the open sometimes.
“Everybody wonders why this has happened, why that has happened.
“The game belongs to the people and the people should know what happens more in football.
“Too many people feel that the most important people of all, the people who pay the wages, are kept in the dark.
“Come out and tell it as it is.”
But Redknapp admitted it would be difficult to sign Rooney if he really does become available.
“You’ve got to be interested when the very, very best players become available but it would be a big ask.
“I’m sure there’ll be some big fish out there wanting to take Rooney, that’s for sure.
“He’s a fantastic player – he’s having a bad spell, he’s had a bad two or three months – but he’s a great player.”
“At the end of the day, Wayne Rooney will be a free agent.
“What an amazing situation to be in: somebody who’s worth 50-60 million pounds will be a free agent.
“He’s going to want a decent signing-on fee; he’s not going to be cheap, is he?
“Players do have the power now. If he doesn’t want to sign a contract, he’s a free agent.
“What a position to be in. He’s in a position where, if somebody gives him 30 million pounds, you’re still getting a very cheap player – if they give it to him personally. That’s without his wages.
“He’s got 18 months to get through before he’s going to be free, which is going to be difficult.
“But if that’s the road he wants to go down, he can go down that road. Manchester United can do nothing about it.
“All they can do is keep trying to make him a better offer to sign a contract, I suppose. There’s no other way out for a club.
“One thing’s for sure, he won’t find a better club than Manchester United to play for.
“He’s got a great manager there. I don’t know what’s gone on there but it’s a shame if it ends that way.”
With Redknapp pondering over an unlikely transfer scoop, it was left to goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to comment on Spurs’s immediate fixture.
And the Brazilian said the English team will play with freedom.
“We’re not worried about going there and playing them. We need to believe in ourselves and need to keep going like in our last two Champions League games,” he said.
“Wednesday will be such a hard game because it’s away from home, and Inter Milan are great opponents, but we go there full of confidence.
“We need to be concentrated, need to go step by step. Milan will be the first real big test.”
Inter Milan top the group on goal difference from Spurs with FC Twente and Werder Bremen three points further back.