• Premier League

Redknapp was 'very close' to taking Ukraine job

ESPN staff
November 24, 2012
Harry Redknapp nearly took the Ukraine job, he has said © Getty Images

Harry Redknapp has claimed he was "very close" to agreeing to become the new head coach of Ukraine before QPR came calling.

Redknapp was officially confirmed as QPR's new manager on Saturday, replacing Mark Hughes on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Club chairman Tony Fernandes subsequently confirmed that Redknapp was always the club's first choice to replace Hughes, but Redknapp acknowledged on Saturday that he had another offer on the table that he was strongly considering.

When asked how close he was to becoming the coach of the Ukrainian national team, Redknapp told Sky Sports: "Very close. It was really a job that excited me, I must be honest.

"We met the people there, they were fantastic.

"The job was exciting, it was something that I'd never done in my life before, to go abroad and coach. And it was something that I really was up for."

Despite being intrigued by the possibility of going to work at international level in Eastern Europe, Redknapp admitted that once QPR came calling with the opportunity to return to Premier League management his mind was easily made up.

"When this job came up, when Mark left the job, it changed everything around," Redknapp added. "I was sort of almost on my way to Ukraine [on Friday]. It was something I really fancied doing.

"When we got the phone call saying we'd like to talk to you it changed everything around. But it was an interesting job for sure."

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