Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insists he would not have moved for William Gallas if he thought the signing would be more trouble than it was worth.
Redknapp is on the brink of completing the controversial capture of the 33-year-old defender, who quit Arsenal this summer after refusing to accept a pay cut.
"If I was bothered about it, I wouldn't have done it," Redknapp said. "I don't even know what he's supposed to have done wrong. I wish somebody would tell me."
Anyone who crosses the north London divide is inevitably branded a villain but Gallas arrives already possessing a reputation for playing the bad guy.
As well as snubbing a new contract at Arsenal, the defender was stripped of the captaincy after publicly criticising his own team-mates.
He was also dubbed a sulker for staging a sit-in following a defeat at Birmingham two and a half years ago, while he quit Chelsea in 2006 with the club accusing him of threatening to score an own goal if he was not allowed to leave, something he vehemently denied.
It is perhaps no surprise there has been a mixed response to the prospect of him joining Arsenal's arch-rivals.
"He's played football for Arsenal. George Graham managed Arsenal's title-winning team, came to Tottenham," added Redknapp.
"Pat Jennings played for Tottenham, played for Arsenal. Alan Ball played for Southampton, played for Portsmouth. Micky Channon played for Southampton, played for Portsmouth."
Redknapp, who managed both the latter two sides, added: "You want to see hatred, that is hatred between two clubs."
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