Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp has turned up the heat ahead of a crucial showdown with Manchester City by suggesting that the Citizens used bullying tactics in the transfer market.
Redknapp suggested that City had forced his club to pull out of the race to sign Craig Bellamy in January 2009, leaving Spurs free to complete the signing of midfielder Wilson Palacios from Wigan Athletic.
Redknapp claimed:"They blow you out of the water. We tried to sign Craig Bellamy and at the time, we were after Wilson Palacios as well.
"They said 'if you don't drop out of Bellamy, we're going to sign Palacios. We're interested in Palacios, but if you pull out of Bellamy, we'll pull out of Palacios and then we both get a player'.
"They wanted Bellamy badly. It was when Mark Hughes was there and obviously he was close to Bellamy – the Welsh connection.
"They were desperate for Bellamy. We were having a bidding war on Bellamy over the fee.
"So we had no choice really. They just said 'we'll blow you out of the water'. They've got the backing, they've got the clout to do that, they can do it if they want somebody."