Redknapp sought Ferdinand signing

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has revealed he tried to sign Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand prior to the season.Redknapp gave Ferdinand his English Premier League debut at West Ham in 1996 and admitted he made an approach for the former England captain before the 2010/11 campaign began.

But last season’s Premier League runners-up rejected the audacious bid, as the Spurs boss told The Observer.

“I can’t ever see us getting Rio now,” Redknapp said.

“I was interested. Last year, I tried. I tried at the start of the season.”

Redknapp believes Manchester United are a much stronger team when Ferdinand is playing and admitted he wanted to sign another leader in defence, after his bid to lure Everton’s Phil Neville to White Hart Lane in January failed.

“When he was on the team-sheet against Chelsea in the Champions League, I thought Man United had got a much, much better chance of getting a result and it proved that way,” he said.

“I’ve said many times to the chairman, it’s not always about the best players, it’s about getting characters in your football club.”

“William (Gallas) has come in and given us experience and we’ve got Michael (Dawson) at the back but in the long term I still feel that you need to find another one or two if you’re going to keep progressing, that type of real character, who has opinions and that will to win around the dressing room – a few leaders.”

“You can’t have too many at your club. That’s why I tried to take Phil Neville from Everton in January.”

Redknapp also said he has next season on his mind and would be after additions to his squad in the transfer window at the end of the season to ensure Tottenham do not stagnate.

“You’ve got to add to the squad. The chairman knows … if we can’t move on, then you have to accept trying to get into the Europa League every year and trying to finish sixth or seventh,” he said.

“But if you want to try to make the Champions League, you have to keep improving.”