It's not the first time Redknapp has publicly declared an interest in a player registered with another Premier League club and the fact that Spurs were so damning of Liverpool and Manchester United in announcing their summer interest in Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov respectively, is a clear sign of double-standards.
Redknapp confirmed: ‘We have made a bid for Jones. I have no idea how far the chairman has got with it or even whether Sunderland want to do a deal.’
The Spurs boss’ confirmation of a bid through the media for the Sunderland striker is a clear attempt to unsettle the player – a move that has not gone down well with Sbragia.
The Sunderland boss confirmed the interest from Spurs but was quick to rebuke any advances for last season’s top scorer for the Black Cats and reiterated his desire to keep the striker at the club. Sbragia said: ‘They have enquired about him but it’s the methods they use that are disappointing. A lot has appeared in the papers but the main concern is that it does not get in the player’s head and that his performances don’t dip.’
Despite Spurs’ initial bid being rejected and Sunderland’s condemnation of Redknapp’s media tactics, Jones has continued to interest the Londoners, with a reported bid of £15million or a swap deal involving Spurs striker, Darren Bent, on the table.
Despite the opportunity for Sunderland to make a huge profit on the £6million they paid Southampton for Jones 18 months ago, Sbragia is adamant that he’s not for sale, especially to a club showing complete disregard to Premier League rules.
A frustrated Sbragia added: ‘They are still coming back and doing it again. They’re trying to get into the player’s head and maybe trying to work the agent a bit more. On many occasions we’ve said no to Spurs.'
Premier League Rule K8 states: ‘A statement made publicly by or on behalf of a club expressing interest in acquiring the registration of a contract player shall be treated as an indirect approach.’
And Appendix Q2 states: ‘A manager shall not, either directly or indirectly (including by making any statement to the media) make an approach to a contract player with a view to the manager’s club negotiating a contract with such player.’
Only six months ago Spurs complained to the Premier League that Manchester United and Liverpool had broken Rule K8 in their summer pursuits of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane, respectively.
Although Spurs lost their cases against Manchester United and Liverpool and the players were sold to the accused clubs, it was a sign of integrity and a stand against so-called bigger clubs unsettling players by making their interests known publicly.
Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, said at the time: ‘The public comments by Manchester United's manager, announcing that he has made an offer for Dimitar and is confident that the deal will go through with time working in their favour, is a blatant example of sheer arrogance and interference with one of our players.
‘It is also probably one of the worst offences by any manager in the Premier League to date.
‘Benitez made similar comments in respect of Robbie recently and we made an official complaint to the Premier League about the conduct of Liverpool earlier this week.
‘I have absolutely no wish to sell either player and to date we have not accepted any offer for either.’
Sunderland are in the same position as Tottenham were in six months ago. They have absolutely no wish to sell and have not accepted an offer.
At the time, I admired Levy’s determination to fight some clubs self-proclaimed prerogative to do whatever they felt necessary to get their hands on a player, be it breaking rules and unsettling the player in question.
It would seem that the Spurs chairman has changed his opinion and now believes that it is okay to publicly announce an interest in another club’s player.
His manager clearly has no regard for the rules and, it would seem, neither does Levy. The chairman clearly does not think that Redknapp is breaking any rules, otherwise he would have made it clear to him that his comments were unacceptable when he confirmed his interest in Jermain Defoe, Stewart Downing and Craig Bellamy.
Redknapp announced to the media his interest in these players, resulting in all three players demanding a move from their clubs. Defoe rejoined Tottenham, West Ham had no option but to sell Bellamy to Man City after he stormed out of a training session and Stewart Downing had a written transfer request turned down by Middlesbrough.
Redknapp’s public interest in these players was a clear factor in them wanting to leave their clubs.
He has also declared an interest in former Spurs forward, Robbie Keane, now at Liverpool following a £20million move from Spurs in the summer. Redknapp said: ‘I wouldn’t sit here and say I wouldn’t like to have Robbie Keane at my football club, I’d be a liar, but he belongs to Liverpool so it is not an option unfortunately.’
At the moment, Kenwyne Jones' head has not been turned by the courting of Redknapp and I don't think it will.
Jones burst on to the Premier League last season, quickly becoming a fans' favourite for his hard-working displays. A knee injury playing for Trinidad & Tobago against England in a summer friendly resulted in months of treatment.
However, Jones returned to the team in goalscoring form, something that was lacking from his game last season. Although he hasn't quite hit the form he was in last season and his partnership with on-loan French forward, Djbril Cisse, has not reached its potential, he no doubt has the ability to be a top-class Premier League forward.
Still only 24 and cutting his teeth in the top-flight, Jones probably knows he has a good thing going at Sunderland and doesn't feel the need to move on just yet. Sunderland have, potentially, a formidable strike force in Jones and Cisse. It would be a step backwards if Jones, last year's player of the season, was to leave.
Jones has signed a new, long-term contract at Sunderland to counter the advances of Spurs and surely puts the transfer saga to bed.
This time, it seems, Redknapp's disruptive tactics have failed to deliver.