On this day: Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp plots moves for seven West Ham players

On this day in 2007, Harry Redknapp was preparing to raid doomed West Ham

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 9:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 10:25 am
Former West Ham midfielder Yossi Benayoun

Pompey’s boss confessed he would love to have up to seven of their players.

Then Hammers manager Alan Curbishley was facing the possibility of a mass clearout – unless his side pulled off a miracle and escaped the drop from the Premier League.

At the time, as many of 15 players were reported to be on their way out of Upton Park.

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Former West Ham midfielder Yossi Benayoun

And Pompey promised to be among the beneficiaries.

Redknapp had been linked with the West Ham job even though Curbishley had a vote of confidence from chairman Eggert Magnusson.

One bookmaker had made Redknapp 5/1 favourite to be the next Hammers boss.

But a far more likely scenario was the Londoner looking to West Ham’s squad to strengthen Pompey.

Yossi Benayoun, Marlon Harewood, Anton Ferdinand, Nigel Reo-Coker, Luis Boa Morte, Carlos Tevez and Dean Ashton were all players Redknapp admired.

And all were among those reported to be leaving east London that summer unless West Ham bridged a 10-point gap to safety.

Redknapp had tried to buy midfielders Reo-Coker and Benayoun before and had also been linked with a move for striker Harewood.

He wanted to sign Ashton in January 2006 but the £7.25m fee was too much.

Speaking to The News back then, Redknapp said: ‘To stay in this league you’ve got to keep improving.

‘We have to keep strengthening to have a chance of finishing in the top 10 next year.

‘Other sides have spent a lot of money compared to us and are struggling, like West Ham and Charlton.

‘West Ham have spent fortunes and have a fantastic squad of players – I’d take six or seven of them tomorrow.

‘They’ve got only 20 points. When you look at the squad they’ve got, that’s unbelievable.’