Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp says Spurs will not lose their top players even if they do not qualify for the Champions League next season, according to an ESPN report.
The London club enjoyed a very promising start to the season but have lost their way in recent weeks and have dropped to fifth in the league. Unfortunately for them, with rivals Chelsea showing signs of a strong finish to the season, not only do Spurs have to look over their shoulders in case the Blues sneak past them into fourth but they will also have to pray Bayern Munich beat Chelsea in the finals of the Champions League; the Blues could still qualify for the Champions League if they win the tournament this year, meaning England will be allowed only three entries next year.
Redknapp is insistent the club will not sell top players, especially Croatian midfielder Luka Modric and Welsh winger Gareth Bale, who are reportedly being pursued by Chelsea and Barcelona, respectively.
"No, I don't [expect that]. When they came to the club, Tottenham weren't in the Champions League, and were nowhere near getting in the Champions League. They play for Tottenham. They're at a great club. There's no reason they should want to leave. If we don't make it this year we'll try again next year. There's not too many clubs they could go to better than Tottenham," the Guardian quoted Redknapp as saying.
The club rejected a £40 million bid from Chelsea for Modric and this season the Blues are back, along with Manchester City. Elsewhere, Barcelona are keen to sign Bale despite Spurs openly putting a "not for sale" sign on the 22 year old winger.
"Gareth Bale and Luka Modric have both signed long-term contracts. Gareth has had a fantastic time for young player at Tottenham. He needs to stay at Tottenham a few more years yet and keep developing. We've progressed so much in the last four years, we've got to keep that going and push on even more in the table and look to win a Premier League. It's not impossible," the Metro reported Redknapp as saying.
Redknapp insists the most important thing for Tottenham at the moment is to concentrate on the remaining games of the season - against Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Fulham.
"We've got to make sure we finish fourth or third, make sure we're in a position to qualify," he said, according to the Guardian, "If we don't, it doesn't matter what happens."
"It's still wide open - Arsenal, Chelsea, ourselves, Newcastle - it's still any two from four. We've got to go on a good run now. If we pull off good results in these last four games we'll be in the Champions League and I'm very confident we'll do that," he added.