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Harry Redknapp Consoles Louis Van Gaal With The Most Harry Redknapp Story Ever

Harry Redknapp Consoles Louis Van Gaal With The Most Harry Redknapp Story Ever
By Gary Reilly

If Harry Redknapp hates his wheeler dealer image, then perhaps it's not a great idea to start writing columns about how Teletext once cost him from getting a transfer over the line.

When he was a Premier League manager, this was Redknapp time. Deals would get done, phone calls would be made and windows would be rolled down. By the end it became so sickeningly clichéd that football was the real winner when Redknapp departed the Premier League and the tropes of transfer deadline day began to whither away (hopefully).

However, just because he's not a manager anymore doesn't mean Harry can't play a part in the transfer circus. The former Spurs boss is writing a column for the Evening Standard and this week he's cast his eye over the deal which saw Pedro choose Chelsea over Man United.

Like the vast majority of us, Harry doesn't seem to be buying the 'we didn't want him anyway' line that has come out of Old Trafford. Instead Redknapp suggests it was more a case of the likes of Fabregas holding sway with Pedro or, worse still, those damned agents getting in the way of things again.

It's not like the good old days according to Redknapp. It used to be that managers or chief executives spoke to one another (on the dog and bone we're assuming), a deal was done and the player was on his way. Nowadays the deal is made with an agent who then shops around to try and get a better deal.

That's not to say that's exactly what happened with Pedro but Redknapp uses it as an example to show why it's so difficult to get a deal done these days and why he understands the difficulty of Louis Van Gaal's job given that nothing in football is secret anymore.

And the beginning of that was Teletext. To prove he knows what Van Gaal is going through, Redknapp tells the story of how, back in 1990 when he was manager of Bournemouth, he was on the brink of signing a player for £40,000 when Teletext ruined everything.

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I was going to sign Ian Woan from non-League Runcorn. I watched him twice in midweek — freezing cold nights — and we loved him.

A deal was done and Woan was due to sign the contract the following day. That night, the transfer made it's way to Teletext where it was spotted by the eagle eyed Brian Clough.

Cloughie said: “Bournemouth have a good record in signing non-League players. Who’s this Ian Woan?” None of them had any idea but Ron knew the Runcorn manager and he phoned him to ask if the deal was done.

Clough offered £80,000 there and then and signed him up that night. Redknapp got the call that Woan was heading to Forest and that was that. The ultimate point being that Redknapp knows exactly how Van Gaal is feeling right now.

I lost a player to Teletext, so imagine how hard it is to keep a deal quiet now with 24-rolling news, social media and agents talking to journalists all the time! What can you do?

So now we know. Jose Mourinho was trawling twitter when he came across this Pedro fella and he thought 'triffic, I'll have him'. Simple as that.

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