Harry Redknapp has dismissed Samir Nasri's claim that his primary motivation for moving to Manchester City is to win trophies and insisted that the Frenchman's head was ultimately turned by a sizeable increase in his salary.
Speaking ahead of Tottenham's Premier League meeting with Cityon Sunday, when Nasri could make his debut for the visitors having completed a £24m move from Arsenal on Wednesday, Redknapp, the Spurs manager, said: "He [Nasri] could have gone to Manchester United, they wanted him and he wanted to go there, but then Man City came in and offered him more money so he went to Man City. That's how it goes, we have to be realistic. When people get offered the chance to treble their wages, they're going to think about it, anybody would."
While Nasri has not quite trebled his wages by moving to the Etihad Stadium, his four-year, £173,000-a-week contract does mean he has all but doubled what he was earning at the Emirates Stadium. The 24-year-old insists, however, that his "choice is about football".
"It's certainly not just about the money with City," Redknapp said. "Players will look at them and think: 'This team can win the Champions League in the next couple of years and I want to be part of that.' I would say their squad is stronger than Barcelona's, and eventually they will be challenging for everything. I'm sure they'll win the Premier League one day."
Redknapp has confirmed Luka Modric will make his first appearance for Spurs on Sundayhaving been told in a meeting with the club's chairman, Daniel Levy, on Thursday that he will definitely not be allowed to join Chelsea before the transfer window closes next week. And likely to join the pair is Scott Parker after the West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce, announced that the Championship club are in talks with Spurs over a transfer for the 30-year-old midfielder, whom Redknapp has been chasing since last season. A £7m deal is expected to be completed over the weekend.
The draw for the Europa League also took place on Friday and saw Spurs drawn alongside Rubin Kazan, Paok Salonika, and, most intriguingly, Shamrock Rovers in Group A of the competition.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010