On this day: Harry Redknapp is fans’ favourite for sensational Portsmouth return

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On this day in 2005, Harry Redknapp emerged as the shock fans’ favourite for a sensational return as Pompey boss.

Many supporters wanted Redknapp to replace sacked manager Alain Perrin – a year after he walked away from the club.

(R-L) Portsmouth Chairman Milan Mandaric and manager Harry Redknapp

(R-L) Portsmouth Chairman Milan Mandaric and manager Harry Redknapp

That would represent a stunning u-turn for a man who was labelled ‘Judas’ by Pompey fans for quitting Fratton and taking the reins at rivals Southampton just two weeks later.

At the time, Pompey chairman Milan Mandaric refused to rule out a Redknapp return.

But as speculation increased, Neil Warnock remained the favourite for the Fratton hot seat.

The Blues confirmed they were asking a number of clubs for permission to speak to candidates, with five people on Mandaric’s hitlist.

Crystal Palace revealed they turned down an approach for Iain Dowie, who insisted he was happy to stay put at Selhurst Park.

Former Chelsea and Newcastle manager Ruud Gullit and Luton boss Mike Newell were rumoured to be the other targets.

Speaking to The News in 2005, Mandaric said: ‘I do like one guy more than the others but I have to look at the overall package.

‘I’ve always said Harry is a good man and what he achieved here has to be respected for the rest of this club’s existence.

‘I will always have time for him but I think he made a mistake leaving, although I have made mistakes too.

‘Will he be the new manager? Never say never.’

Mandaric added: ‘We have made approaches to clubs and gone with the correct procedures.

‘Realistically, the process will take a little while because of negotiations and the fact you have to compensate clubs.

‘There is a list of four or five names, it will become shorter over the next few days and we will go from there.

‘There are four targets working with clubs and one is available.

‘There is one manager who is not British but has participated in the British game quite a bit.

‘I’m now realising this club needs passion and enthusiasm – someone in the image of our supporters.’