HARRY Redknapp single-handedly put the jam roly-poly back on the menu but he fears that Celtic and Rangers only face the dreaded custard pie if they bid to attempt to land top FA Premier League talent this summer. If anyone knows about the law of the jungle when it comes to football clubs it is the self-styled king of the jungle, an archetypal wheeler/dealer the image of whom leaning out the car window to lend a word to Sky Sports reporters has passed into footballing folklore. Sitting instead yesterday in the plush surroundings of Trump Turnberry for the John Hartson golf day, Redknapp feels that a “couple of top players” could tip the balance in Steven Gerrard’s favour as he bids to overturn this era of Celtic domestic dominance.

Getting them in, though, is the hard part. While the Ibrox side were linked yesterday with a cash rich loan deal for one such Premiership big name in the form of Watford’s Andre Gray, Redknapp feels the sums simply don’t stack up. And he also knows that his horse racing pal Dermot Desmond will be sure to up the ante on the other side of the city trying to prevent him making the Premiership title into a bona fide two-horse race.

“Stevie’s done well,” said Redknapp. “He can’t do miracles, he’s done what he could do, he’s improved Rangers this year big time. The future looks good for Rangers, I think, over the next few years. I’m sure about that.


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“At the moment they are still a bit away,” he added. “But the gap is getting close. I only watch it on TV, but ultimately whether he can be the man to turn it around will depend on their recruitment in the summer.

“They could do it next year. Good players are the most important thing, aren’t they? When you have got good players it is an easy job, if they can get a couple of top players in it could tip the balance possibly.”

If Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis, both of whom expect to be at the club until the end of next season, show that recruiting Premiership players isn’t impossible, how Gerrard would love to be able to attract their younger versions. That is why, picking up players such as Redknapp’s old Birmingham City player Greg Stewart, seems a likelier approach this summer.

“Could more top players from the Premier League come up to play for him?” said Redknapp. “It depends where they are coming from. If you are at a top six player, and you are playing, you are not going to leave a top six team to come and play in Scotland.

“You couldn’t get near the wages,” he added. “People are earning crazy money now. Even average players are earning £100,000 a week. I spoke to a boy the other week who is playing at a bottom half club and he wanted to move. He was on £80,000 a week, it is crazy.

“You talk about the challenge, but without being disrespectful, there is the challenge of being in Glasgow playing for Rangers or Celtic but what about the rest of the games? In the Premier League every week is a proper game. Aberdeen are a good side but they are nowhere near Premier League standard if we are honest.


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“I know exactly how big Rangers and Celtic are but they’re just not going to be able to attract the best players anymore. Yes, it gives you the chance to win silverware and that’s important. But whatever way you box it up if you get £100,000 in England and you’re offered £50,000 a week here but you might win a trophy - you ain’t coming! It’s just not going to happen. Of course it sounds nice but players are not going to take a massive wage cut to come up here for a trophy. Players today don’t do wage cuts.

“So if you’re going to get names up in Scotland it’s going to be guys at 33-34. You might get some players from the Premier League up to Rangers or Celtic but you’re not going to get the top players. The money they’re earning right now is crazy.”

He might be the king of the jungle but Redknapp thinks he is a non runner when it comes to the permanent vacancy at Parkhead. His pal Dermot Desmond will leave no stone unturned.

“I could do it but they’ve got Neil Lennon and I’m too busy doing pantomime and stuff like that!” he joked. “‘I wouldn’t be in the running for a job like that, no chance. I like Neil and he’s done well since he’s come into Celtic this season.”

“Dermot is a winner in whatever he does,” Redknapp added. “Will he up the ante? He’s such a clever man. He’s a winner and he’s done amazing with Celtic. He will keep pushing Celtic on but Rangers will keep pushing on too. Stevie’s not going to want to stand still at Rangers is he? He’s going to try and stop them getting that title again. But it’s good because a few years ago with no Rangers in the league it was farcical. But now they are back in the top flight it’s good again. I follow it and it’s good it’s not a one horse race anymore.”

**Harry Redknapp was speaking at The John Hartson Foundation Golf Event at Turnberry. In its ninth year, The Hartson Foundation helps to raise awareness on testicular cancer and will go through the £1million this year on funds raised