Harry Redknapp philosophical over Spurs exit

QPR boss Harry Redknapp at Loftus Road this season. Photo: PA

Harry Redknapp bears no ill-feeling for his unexpected departure from Tottenham for reasons he suspects were "political".

Redknapp will face his former club for the first time since being fired last June when QPR host Spurs in the lunchtime Premier League clash at Loftus Road.

The 65-year-old's departure from White Hart Lane came despite having guided the club to a fourth-place finish, claiming a Champions League place that was snatched by Chelsea when they won the competition.

Contributing to his abrupt change of fortunes was the Football Association's decision to appoint Roy Hodgson as England coach and not the clear favourite for the post.

"I've got my own feeling on what happened at Tottenham, but it's difficult to say. It was political," said the QPR boss, who was also cleared of tax evasion and underwent heart surgery last season.

"I didn't have an inkling it would happen. I went to see (chief executive) Daniel Levy about signing a new contract and that was it.

"Leaving West Ham was difficult, it came like a bolt out of the blue. But with Tottenham there were more important things happening in my life at the time.

"I was supposed to get the England job and then I didn't get it. That's life. People have kids who have leukaemia. What's happened to me is nothing.

"I had four great years at Tottenham and was well paid. I've come to QPR and am not quite so well paid!

"I love football, I'm lucky. I'm on the training ground with the players trying to find a way to beat Tottenham."

Redknapp, who is closing in on a loan deal for Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore, remains in contact with Levy, a man known for his transfers on deadline day.

"I was speaking with Daniel yesterday to see if there are any players there that we can have. But he'll help himself, he won't give us a special deal because it's me!" he said.

"It's his time of year, January. He loves it. On the last day he'll be doing his two for one deal, buy one get one free. That's how he works."

Redknapp believes third-place Tottenham, now managed by Andre Villas-Boas, are close to becoming the best team in London, having eclipsed Arsenal and narrowly trailing Chelsea.

"I think they'll win the league. They'll keep improving. They're certainly stronger than Arsenal now, they have a much better squad. There's not much in it between them and Chelsea," he said.

QPR's attempts to strengthen their squad during the transfer window have been frustrated so far with Tel Ben Haim the only new arrival.

A striker is the overwhelming priority after Redknapp failed in a bid for Marseilles' France striker Loïc Rémy.

"Remy didn't want to come. I went over last week to watch him play but he didn't even want to speak about coming here," he said.

"I couldn't get a meeting with him. I was hoping to talk to him so I could encourage him to come.

"People said he was being disrespectful by not talking, but I think he felt a bit embarrassed saying he didn't want to come to QPR."