The experienced Blues manager has expressed a desire to add some “proper” players to his ranks and praised the veteran trio
If Harry Redknapp gets his way, Birmingham City fans will not be able to complain about a lack of experience in their squad next season.
The former Tottenham manager is looking to build a Blues team capable of making an assault on the Championship top six and has named three potential targets that would give his side a decidedly mid-2000s Premier League feel.
Hailing them as “proper” players, Redknapp admitted he would be interested in signing Ashley Cole, Robbie Keane and Stewart Downing should the opportunity present itself.
Cole, 36, is currently with the LA Galaxy in MLS, while the 37-year-old Keane is a free agent and Downing, 32, has been told he can leave Middlesbrough on a free transfer.
“Ashley Cole, for me, was the best left-back in the world a few years ago – he was just a fantastic player,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“He’s out in America. I don’t know what Ashley’s plans are. His name was mentioned to me. When you have a chance to get someone like him, if he’s available, he has to be of interest.
“Robbie Keane is a proper player; a great professional and infectious character.”
Of Downing, Redknapp added: “Stewart Downing is a proper player, got a great left foot, he’s fit as a fiddle. Whether we could afford him I don’t know.”
The 70-year-old has been known to sign players he has previously worked with on a regular basis and his latest musings were met with a somewhat mixed response on social media.
Birmingham Star Sixes?
— Alex (@A16Charms) July 15, 2017
Football club or retirement home?
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorganwales) July 15, 2017
What about Kranjcar?
— Yaasir (@YaasirKhan) July 15, 2017
Someone needs to tell Redknapp he’s not playing Football Manager 2007.
— X. (@MLGChicNugget) July 15, 2017
When is he announcing Assou-Ekotto and Crouch?
— Martyn Biddulph (@BiddulphMartyn) July 15, 2017
Redknapp, however, insisted that Keane, Cole and Downing all had plenty left to offer at Championship level.
“They are all interesting but until you speak to them, you don’t know,” he continued. “They are not over the hill.
“I went to Portsmouth in the same sort of situation. I went there and took Paul Merson, Steve Stone, Tim Sherwood – all fantastic professionals. They were proper blokes, proper men and we won the league. You want them to blend in with the younger ones.
“My ambition is for us to be in the top group this year, at least make the play-offs. Anything other than that wouldn’t be a success for me. But to do that you need good players.”