Harry Redknapp sees the silver lining in missing out on John Terry
Harry Redknapp tried to convince John Terry to join Birmingham City by hinting that he could succeed him as Blues boss in a couple of years.
That ploy didn't work as he might have hoped as the former Chelsea defender ultimately decided to sign for Aston Villa, Birmingham's arch-rivals in the Championship.
Redknapp publicly announced an interest in Terry earlier this summer but it wasn't to be and he has responded to Monday's news of Terry's one-year deal at Villa Park by hinting that he might actually be better off spreading out the money that would have gone on Terry's wages and filling out his squad at St Andrew's.
“I would be a liar and suddenly because you don’t get someone you stand here and go ‘Oh well I didn’t want him anyway’. That wouldn’t be true,” Redknapp said, via the Birmingham Mail.
“I have been a great John Terry fan forever, I think he is a fantastic player.
“But - and again I am telling you the truth - after the initial offer we made John, we made him a great offer, I started to think ‘Maybe I need five or six players and maybe rather than putting all my eggs in one basket I can spread John’s money and I can improve the squad more’.
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“That was always in my mind as well.
“They have signed a good player but I am hoping to sign five or six good players with the budget I had for John.
“Maybe if I can do five or six people it will give me a better all-round team rather than having one fantastic player.”
Redknapp has already brought in one defender this summer, with Marc Roberts' arrival from Barnsley, and the 70-year-old has admitted that Villa manager Steve Bruce's very involved pursuit of Terry may have effectively swayed the centre-half.
“I haven’t had any contact with John for maybe five weeks,” Redknapp said.
“I think Steve Bruce kept on at John, and obviously took him to Portugal and played golf with him.
“Listen, they have signed a good player, I am not standing here and saying ‘He is not a fantastic player’ - because he is.
“He can make the difference if he is fit and playing. He played for me the other week in a game, Michael Carrick’s testimonial and he was fantastic.
“If he is fit he will play, you can’t stop him playing.”