By Rob Stewart
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has insisted that he wants Niko Kranjcar to remain at White Hart Lane despite interest in the Croatian international from Sunderland, Goal.com can reveal.
Redknapp heaped praise on his player as he moved to quell uncertainty over Kranjcar’s future in the wake of comments from his agent that the attacking midfielder was on the brink of a move to their Premier League rivals.
The Spurs boss dismissed the prospect of the player joining the Stadium of Light as he spoke out after Kranjcar played in central midfield in the place of absent Chelsea target Luka Modric in the 5-0 Europa League thrashing of Scottish club Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle on Thursday.
“No he isn’t going to Sunderland,” Redknapp said. “We want to keep him. He is an outstanding player. I love him. He will be important for us.”
With the unsettled Modric currently sidelined with a minor injury, Kranjcar, who played under Redknapp at Portsmouth, is in line to face Manchester United when Spurs kick off their Premier League campaign at Old Trafford on Monday night.
He could line up alongside Rafael van der Vaart after impressing Redknapp in the one-sided match against Hearts.
“He has usually played out wide for me but he was outstanding in the middle against Hearts,” Redknapp added. “He rarely plays in the central role but he really linked up well with Rafael and he will give us a new dimension.”
Kranjcar, 27, has another two years left to run on the four-year contract that he signed with Spurs when he left Portsmouth in August 2009 and could be a key figure for Redknapp in upcoming games due to a spate of injuries among his first-team squad and continuing speculation over Modric’s future.
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