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Spurs need one or two more players - Harry Redknapp

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Milner deal 'key to transfer market'

By Matt Slater

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp says his side need to make "one or two" signings this summer to finish in the Premier League's top four again.

BBC Sport understands Manchester City's Craig Bellamy is top of their list but speculation about Peter Crouch's future at Spurs is wide of the mark.

"We're not anywhere near signing anybody yet but we've got a few irons in the fire," said Redknapp.

"Crouch is going nowhere, though. He is definitely staying."

Having led Spurs to fourth place in the Premier League and Champions League qualification last season, Redknapp is determined to fight "on two fronts" this campaign. But to do that he is convinced he needs to "freshen up and strengthen" the squad before the transfer window deadline on 31 August.

"We've made a few enquiries [about players] already but nothing has come off yet," said Redknapp, who was speaking at the launch of Football Furlong, a Premier League-themed day of horse racing at Royal Windsor Racecourse on Sunday, 8 August.

It's going to be very difficult this year because there are probably eight teams competing for those Champions League places

Harry Redknapp

"But like most clubs, we will need to raise some funds before we spend."

The first of his "enquiries" was about West Ham midfielder Scott Parker but the Hammers rejected Tottenham's bid, saying their star player was not for sale "for any price".

Redknapp, a veteran wheeler-dealer, believes a sell-to-buy policy is the norm across the league, with only Manchester City having the resources to buck the trend at the moment.

So far this summer the only big purchases have been made by the Abu Dhabi-backed Eastlands club but Redknapp believes that could change if a high-profile transfer takes place between two leading English clubs.

"The market is a bit sluggish but I think there will be a bit of a flurry if [Aston Villa midfielder] James Milner goes to Manchester City," he added. "That could kick-start the whole market."

With money tight across Europe at present, Redknapp believes much of the transfer activity will be in loans and swap deals, particularly from "big European clubs trying to get players off their wage bill".

As well as the need to balance the books, all clubs are having to think about new Premier League rules on squad sizes. A new 25-man limit comes into force this season, with the additional provision that eight of those must be "home-grown".

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With a large English contingent, Spurs should have no problem meeting the latter requirement but some tailoring will be required if Redknapp is to satisfy the 25-man squad rule.

This inevitably will lead to speculation about the future of striker Robbie Keane and midfielder David Bentley. It could also leave Jonathan Woodgate without a squad number as the unlucky defender is a long way from fitness with a chronic groin injury.

But better news for Redknapp, who recently extended his contract with the Londoners until 2013, is the continuing development of some of the club's brightest youngsters. The likes of Kyle Naughton, Danny Rose, Giovani dos Santos and Kyle Walker have enjoyed bright pre-seasons and will be pushing for first-team action this season.

In regard to his side's chances of improving on last season's performance, the former Bournemouth, West Ham, Southampton and Portsmouth boss said "it would be very difficult".

As a result of City's lavish spending, Redknapp is expecting a big challenge from Roberto Mancini's side this season, starting with their visit to White Hart Lane for the first game of the campaign on 14 August.

"City have got to be stronger this season but it's going to be very difficult for all of us this year because there are probably eight teams competing for those Champions League places," he said.

"Obviously you've got Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, but Liverpool will be back and Villa and Everton will do well if they can keep their players fit."



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see also
Redknapp defends Parker pursuit
30 Jul 10 |  Tottenham
New Premier League squad rules explained
27 Jul 10 |  Premier League
Woodgate faces Tottenham omission
27 Jul 10 |  Tottenham
Redknapp signs new Tottenham deal
14 Jul 10 |  Tottenham
Redknapp hails Spurs achievement
06 May 10 |  Tottenham


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