Redknapp: City squad better than Barcelona’s

TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp thinks Manchester City’s expensively assembled squad is now better than that of all-conquering European champions Barcelona.

With the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta at his disposal, Pep Guardiola’s team are regarded by some as the best club team in history.

Under Guardiola’s stewardship, the Spaniards have won three successive La Liga titles and lifted the Champions League trophy twice in the last three seasons.

City’s trophy cabinet is nowhere near as big as Barca’s, but the Lancashire club are determined to become known as one of the greatest teams on the planet.

To help them achieve that aim, wealthy owner Sheikh Mansour has given manager Roberto Mancini and his predecessor Mark Hughes hundreds of millions of pounds to sign some of the world’s best stars.

Sergio Aguero, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri have arrived at the Etihad Stadium this summer to further boost a squad that already contains stellar players such as

Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure and David Silva. With such strength in depth, Redknapp thinks Mancini now has a better squad at his disposal than Guardiola.

Ahead of City’s visit to White Hart Lane tomorrow, the Spurs boss said: “They are looking strong. I would say that they have probably got as strong a squad as any team in the world.

“They don’t have Messi but man for man they certainly have a stronger squad than Barcelona. They have two men in every position who are top-class players.

“You look at that forward line now and they have Aguero, Tevez, Edin Dzeko, Silva — it’s amazing.

“Then you have players like (Mario) Balotelli, who can’t get in the team along with (Craig) Bellamy and (Roque) Santa Cruz. It’s an amazing array of players they have.”

Although City’s spending spree ended Tottenham’s hopes of a top-four finish last year, their extravagance in the transfer market has helped the London club this summer.

Despite being good enough to be a regular on loan at Real Madrid last year, Emmanuel Adebayor was deemed surplus to requirements by Mancini and the Togo striker will spend the rest of the season at White Hart Lane.

The loan deal represents a good bit of business for Redknapp, who saw his side finish one place behind Mancini’s men last term, partly due to the poor form of his strikers.

The Spurs manager thinks the Togo hitman’s arrival will help lift the spirits of a squad that has been rocked by the summer-long fight for Luka Modric’s future between Tottenham and neighbours Chelsea.

“Just having Adebayor here this morning brightened the place up,” said Redknapp.

“Training was sharper and that’s what happens when you bring new players in to a football club.’’

Adebayor, who has been given the number 10 shirt vacated by Robbie Keane, will not play in tomorrow afternoon’s clash due to the terms of his loan deal, but one man who is available is Modric.

The Croatian has not appeared so far this season thanks to what has been officially described as minor ankle, groin and hamstring injuries.

The 25-year-old met with Daniel Levy to discuss his future on Thursday, and the Tottenham chairman once again insisted the player would not leave.

Redknapp hopes the meeting will have ended any doubt about Modric’s future despite speculation Chelsea will make one more mega-money bid for the player before Wednesday night’s transfer deadline.

“He met with the chairman yesterday and the chairman has not swayed from what he has said from day one and that’s that Luka is not going,” Redknapp added.

“Hopefully he can push on now and get him playing in the team.

“There is no reason why he shouldn’t play (on Sunday). He is fit.”

Redknapp is determined to bring in at least one more midfielder regardless of whether Modric stays.

Lassana Diarra has strongly been linked with a move to White Hart Lane.

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