The FA moved quickly yesterday to deny reports that they are lining up a “dream team” of Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and England’s most capped outfield player David Beckham to replace international manager Fabio Capello.
Yesterday’s Daily Mirror suggested the pair, who could be working together at White Hart Lane for the next two months if a loan agreement can be hammered out today, would take over from Italian Capello when his contract ends after Euro 2012. The FA are apparently keen to install a homegrown successor.
Beneath the screaming headline BOSS IT LIKE BECKHAM, the Mirror’s respected former Daily Mail correspondent Martin “Laptop” Lipton claimed: “FA chiefs have held informal discussions with the pair about taking over from Capello.
“Spurs boss Redknapp, 63, will be manager and Becks, 35, his assistant manager, with the long-term strategy that the soccer superstar will ultimately succeed Redknapp in the job.”
And he goes on to quote a “source involved in the negotiations” as saying: “This is not pie in the sky. This is absolutely real.”
But in a hurried statement after the Mirror front pages hit the streets in London, an FA spokesman insisted: “There are no such talks and we have not discussed any potential succession plan with anyone at this point.”
Beckham is available to Spurs until March but he has the right to buy an MLS franchise in the US – probably New York Cosmos for a knockdown £16m – if he fulfils his LA Galaxy contract which expires in November this year.
Speaking after the shock Wednesday night defeat at Everton, Redknapp admitted he is keen to seal the loan deal which will see Beckham team up with new South African signing Bongani Khumalo, who landed at Heathrow yesterday morning.
Redknapp said: “I will speak to the chairman Daniel Levy and see where we are at. It is definitely not done - one million percent not. I don’t know what has happened.
“I have left it to the chairman to deal with. I think we could do with David’s know-how, I think he has something to offer but it is out of my hands. I’ve said I’d like him but it is up to others now whether there is a deal to be done.”
If all goes smoothly, Beckham will be unveiled in front of the fans at Sunday’s FA Cup third round clash against Charlton at White Hart Lane with a potential debut against his former club Manchester United on January 16 a mouth-watering prospect.