Harry Redknapp is poised to be the next manager of English Premier League strugglers Tottenham Hotspur following the departure of Juande Ramos, the Portsmouth manager has confirmed.
Ramos left the club after its worst-ever start to the season, which has left it anchored to the bottom of the league, Spurs announced late tonight. Soon after, Redknapp - currently in charge at Portsmouth - said he expected to be confirmed as Ramos's successor within hours.
Redknapp faces an uphill struggle to turn Tottenham's fortunes around. Despite winning the League Cup in February, Spurs have taken just two points from eight games. Their UEFA Cup group campaign also got off to a poor start Thursday when they were beaten 2-0 at Udinese amid reports that dressing room confidence has hit rock-bottom.
The London club said in a statement late Saturday that Spaniard Ramos, formerly in charge at Sevilla, and other key staff were leaving. "The club can announce that Damien Comolli, sporting director, Juande Ramos, head coach and first-team coaches, Marcos Alvarez and Gus Poyet, have left the club, with immediate effect. We wish them well," the club said.
It then revealed that Portsmouth, currently placed seventh in the Premier League, had "reluctantly" agreed to let them talk to Redknapp, whose son Jamie is a former Spurs captain.
Within minutes, Redknapp revealed that he expected a deal confirming his position to be announced very soon. "" Redknapp said.
He added on Sky Sports News television: "It's a great opportunity for me. It's a big club, Tottenham. I love Portsmouth and I loved my time there, we had some fantastic success and I'd never been happier.
"But it's a great deal for Portsmouth, £5 million pounds (6.3 million euros, 7.9 million dollars) for me, and it's a chance for me to get on and see what I can do."
Tottenham said that Clive Allen, a former club player who is now development squad coach, and youth team manager Alex Inglethorpe would be in charge for Sunday's clash with Bolton. It added in the statement that a further announcement would be made on the first-team coaching staff "in due course".
Redknapp expects to be at White Hart Lane for the Bolton match and plans to address players before the match. Ramos had only been in the job for a year. The team's recent performances have been criticised by players Jonathan Woodgate and David Bentley.
"We aren't too good to go down - believe me," defender Woodgate, who used to play for Leeds United, said. "Leeds had a better team than we have got right now but they went down eventually and we really have got to roll up our sleeves because I am telling you, it is going to be hard.
"At the moment, a goal goes in and we start thinking 'here we go again'. We need to really stand up now. The senior players have got to stand up and start taking responsibility. At the moment, we deserve to be where we are."
Spurs sold several top players over the summer including Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United and Robbie Keane to Liverpool.