By Matt Farr
Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has revealed he came close to signing Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard during his time at the club.
Redknapp explained that Spurs had been in talks with both world-class players over potential moves to north London.
He added that landing even one of the players would have made his side genuine title contenders.
Winning just under 50 per cent of his games in charge at White Hart Lane, the 69-year-old led Spurs to two top-four finishes in the Premier League before he was eventually sacked in the summer of 2012.
Both Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard have established themselves among the Premier League’s best performers over the last decade, with Suarez scoring 69 goals from 110 league appearances; and Hazard netting 48 from 150.
“I was managing a Tottenham team that I thought could go on and win the title, I genuinely believe that,” Redknapp told the Jim White Show on talkSPORT.
“I took Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen on free transfers [on February 1, 2012] – we were short, we had injuries at centre-half and I had no striker.
“If we had gone out [and invested] then…Luis Suarez was a player that we were looking at,” he admitted.
“I spent three hours with Hazard in a hotel room in Paris – I met him at the airport – he was dead keen to come to Tottenham.
“We were right down the road with Hazard and Luis Suarez was the best player in the Premier League a few years ago when he was at Liverpool, he was fantastic. If we had got one of those in, we had a team that could have challenged for the title,” he continued.
Within Redknapp’s squad for the 2011-12 campaign – his final season in charge at White Hart Lane – were a number of high-profile names that have since gone on to play for some of Europe’s top clubs.
Gareth Bale and Luka Modric were both part of the squad, before later joining Real Madrid; while he also had stars in Rafael van der Vaart, William Gallas and Jermain Defoe.
A reliable Belgian journalist recently responded on Twitter to suggest that Redknapp also missed out on current Chelsea no.1 Thibaut Courtois.
As it stands, Tottenham are still without a Premier League title, but under Mauricio Pochettino, they are still improving.
Last season, they went toe-to-toe with eventual winners Leicester for several months, before slipping behind Arsenal to finish third.
In other Tottenham news, BBC pundit Alan Shearer has named which Spurs players are underperforming.