TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp’s reign came to an abrupt end last night.
Redknapp and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had been due to meet in an attempt to resolve increasingly tense discussions over a new contract.
But rather than mend his differences with the north London club’s hierarchy, Redknapp has parted company with them, despite a largely successful four-year tenure that saw them play Champions League football for the first time.
The manager’s departure caps a rollercoaster year for the 64-year-old, who underwent heart surgery and was cleared of tax evasion following a two-week trial in February.
That verdict, coupled with Fabio Capello’s sudden resignation, saw the former West Ham and Portsmouth boss installed as the red-hot favourite to be appointed England manager this summer.
But after initial interest the Football Association cooled on his candidacy, as revealed by City A.M. in March, and instead hired Roy Hodgson from West Brom.
Meanwhile Redknapp saw his Spurs team blow a 10-point advantage over arch-rivals Arsenal in the race to finish third in the Premier League.
Jaded Tottenham ended in fourth – and saw their Champions League spot swiped by Chelsea, who unexpectedly won the competition.
That collapse weakened Redknapp’s hand decisively in talks over extending his £3m a year contract, which had 12 months to run.
Redknapp challenged Levy in public to hand him a new deal or risk destabilising the squad, with stars Gareth Bale and Luka Modric among Europe’s hottest properties.
But the Spurs chairman, a renowned negotiator, is believed to have been willing only to offer a short-term deal to a man who made no secret of his desire for the England job.
Everton’s David Moyes is thought to be Levy’s top target to replace Redknapp once a settlement has been agreed, with Wigan’s Roberto Martinez and former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas also in the frame.
Long-serving Scotsman Moyes joined Everton from Preston in 2002 and has since built a reputation as one of the Premier League’s finest managers, even being touted as a future Manchester United boss.