CHIGWELL - Signing William Gallas
on a free transfer was a "no brainer", Tottenham Hotspur manager
Harry Redknapp said on Friday when he confirmed the former
Chelsea and Arsenal defender was on the brink of joining.
The 33-year-old Frenchman, twice a Premier League title
winner with Chelsea before joining Arsenal in 2006, has agreed a
one-year deal with Tottenham and was due to complete a medical
later on Friday.
GEAR: Get 10% off your new Tottenham shirt with Gallas printed on the back
If he joins Spurs as expected Gallas would become the first
player ever to play league football for London's three biggest
clubs, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea.
He is a free agent after failing to agree a new contract
with Tottenham's bitter north London rivals Arsenal. Redknapp
said the Frenchman, who has played 84 times for France scoring
five goals, had taken a considerable drop in salary to move to
White Hart Lane.
"He is having his medical later and all being well he'll be
a Spurs player today," Redknapp told reporters at Tottenham's
training ground in Essex.
"I just think it's a no brainer - a player of that
experience and that quality on a free transfer. He's a top class
defender and I'm well pleased to have him here."
Gallas's connections with Chelsea and more importantly
Arsenal have raised eyebrows but Redknapp played down any
negative reaction from Tottenham fans who never forgave Sol
Campbell for running down his contract with the club before
"He's not the first player to go from Arsenal to Tottenham
or Tottenham to Arsenal," Redknapp said. "It happens. (Carlos)
Tevez went from Man United to Man City. He is a footballer and a
great lad and I've been very impressed with him.
"He will improve Tottenham and that's all I'm bothered
about. He's shown character to want to come and play here. He's
got the bottle to come and want to play here. He's done nothing
Gallas's temperament has occasionally been questioned.
He once sulkily sat down on the pitch during an away game at
Birmingham and lost the Arsenal captaincy after that incident in
2008 following an interview in which he questioned the courage
of some of his team mates.
"I don't think his attitude can be questioned, he gets
annoyed with people who are not as professional as he is which
is not a bad thing, that can't do any harm," Redknapp said.
"Whenever we've played against him I've thought he was a
world class defender."
Tottenham's official club historian Andy Porter told Reuters
he would be the first player ever to appear for Spurs, Arsenal
"There has yet to be a player to feature for all three clubs
in either the Football League or Premier League," he said.
Clive Allen played for Chelsea and Spurs and also signed for
Arsenal but never played for them. George Graham played for
Chelsea and Arsenal and later managed Spurs.
Gallas will provide extra options at the back for Redknapp
as club skipper Ledley King struggles to play more than once a
week because of knee problems. Jonathan Woodgate has also been
ruled out of Tottenham's 25-man squad because of a groin problem
that will require more surgery.
Of more immediate concern for Redknapp is a shortage of
strikers for the Premier League visit to Stoke City on Saturday.
Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko are all
ruled out after being injured in the 3-2 Champions League
playoff, first leg defeat against Young Boys on Tuesday.
Midfielders Luka Modric and Giovanni dos Santos are also
"I'm one short of having enough subs for tomorrow, Redknapp
said. "It leaves me with Peter Crouch, he's the only striker
we've got tomorrow. Not a bad one but that's all we've got."
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