Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has reacted to accusations of deliberately unsettling Kenwyne Jones by suggesting Sunderland have targeted Darren Bent.
Redknapp has defended his club's transfer conduct during a January window where Spurs have angered Middlesbrough in their pursuit of Stewart Downing and now Sunderland. Black Cats manager Ricky Sbragia has made no secret of his fury at the manner of Spurs' approach for Jones - but Redknapp has revealed how Bent has been made aware of interest from Sunderland.
"Is someone upsetting Darren Bent? He came to see me and says 'I hear Sunderland want me'," Redknapp said. "I said 'I don't know, I haven't spoken to anyone at Sunderland'. He said 'well my agent says they want me'. So someone is talking to someone. I could say the same thing, that Sunderland are upsetting Darren Bent."
Redknapp also rejected claims of turning Jones' head by highlighting how Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has been in continued dialogue with Sunderland counterpart Niall Quinn.
He said: "If you don't want to sell him you say 'no, thank you very much'. That is the end of it.
"There must be a glimmer of hope with both parties or you don't talk to each other any more. Why are we talking? Don't talk if you don't want to sell.
"If you asked me if I wanted to sell my car and I said 'no', that is the end of it. You don't keep ringing me up."
Redknapp claims Spurs had been given encouragement over a possible deal but Levy has since told his manager that Jones could now sign a new deal at the Stadium of Light.
Brokering a deal for Pascal Chimbonda proved to be easier, with the French full-back returning to Spurs six months after leaving for Sunderland. Chimbonda upset fans by storming down the tunnel when he was substituted during the Carling Cup final last season - but Redknapp does not see that being an issue.
"If he come here and starts roaring down the line and crossing balls and scoring goals it isn't a problem," he said. "If he plays badly he will be unpopular."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.