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Sunday, 21 July, 2002, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Redknapp has no pity for Leeds
Former west Ham boss Harry Redknapp
Redknapp could always see Rio going places

Former West Ham boss Harry Redknapp has no sympathy for Leeds as Rio Ferdinand's record-busting move leaves them victims of football's law of the jungle.

Portsmouth manager Redknapp says Leeds and their fans will have to bite the bullet after Manchester United flexed their financial muscle to break the British transfer record for the second successive summer.


There's always a bigger fish out there somewhere waiting to pounce
Harry Redknapp

Redknapp talks from bitter personal experience after Leeds breezed in to take his prize asset when he was in charge at Upton Park.

Leeds' 18.5m offer for Ferdinand was one West Ham were unable to refuse, and Redknapp says the boot is now on the other foot.

Redknapp said: "It's unfortunate for Leeds and their fans but the same thing happened to us at West Ham, and I don't suppose the Leeds fans moaned about that too much.

"I didn't want to lose Rio. We were going well at the time.

"But when Leeds came in with their offer, we couldn't turn it down. Money like that enabled a club like West Ham to rebuild with a couple of players.

"Ironically, we had played and beaten Leeds the week before and they stepped in and took Rio off us.

Rio Ferdinand in his West Ham days
Leeds plucked Ferdinand away from West Ham

"Now Manchester United have done the same to Leeds. That's the name of the game, I'm afraid.

"There's always a bigger fish out there somewhere waiting to pounce. Leeds probably thought they were a bigger club than West Ham, but now a bigger club has come along and taken Rio from them."


He's without doubt the best defender in Europe, if not the world
Harry Redknapp

Redknapp was the manager who gave Ferdinand his Premiership break and is convinced his one-time prodigy has made the right move to Old Trafford.

Redknapp said: "I always knew he would go to the top and he has.

"He's at the top now with Manchester United. He's without doubt the best defender in Europe, if not the world.

"Even when there was talk of Manchester United signing Nesta, it was always a fall-back.

"Rio was their number one target and they were only going to go after Nesta if they couldn 't get him."


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21 Jul 02 | Sports Talk
21 Jul 02 | Eng Prem
21 Jul 02 | Man Utd
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