Harry Redknapp reports a 'worry' for Spurs, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson thinks speculation about Harry Redknapp's future could affect Tottenham's title run-in.

Redknapp, 65, is the favourite for the vacant England manager's job.

Ferguson, whose players were distracted by his aborted retirement plan in 2002, believes the same thing could happen to Spurs.

"The [Tottenham] directors will be worried. It definitely had an effect in the dressing room," he said.

In the 2001/02 season, United finished third - their worst finish in Premier League history - and were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round.

Ferguson blamed it on the destabilising effect of his initial plan to quit at the end of the campaign.

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Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp

It's a little different for Harry as he's not made any statement he wants the job, though the general feeling is that he would relish it

Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United manager

Similar uncertainty surrounds Spurs, with Redknapp the choice of many observers to take over from Fabio Capello, who resigned in February.

"I'm sure they will wonder what the next step is in relation to the contact the FA [Football Association] make or when they make it," said Ferguson.

"I don't think you can dismiss that eventuality. It's going to happen. They [the Tottenham directors] will be more worried than the players.

"I made that mistake when I said I was going to retire.

"It's a little different for Harry as he's not made any statement he wants the job, though the general feeling is that he would relish it. You need a lot of experience as it's not an easy job."

Ferguson also reiterated his desire for midfielder Paul Scholes to remain on the United playing staff next season.

The 37-year-old former England international has been in sparkling form since coming out of retirement at the turn of the year, and there have been calls from his admirers, including Redknapp, for a return to the national set-up.

"I haven't discussed next season yet but there is no reason why he shouldn't play," said Ferguson.

"When I said last year that he'd give me 25-30 games, it wasn't enough for him. But I think he'll look at it differently now.

"I think Paul knew right away [that he'd made the wrong decision] when he went to coach with the reserves. He came to me and said: 'I think I made a mistake'. And the evidence is that he was right.

"When Scholes is in form, he influences the team like Luka Modric does for Spurs."

Second-placed United travel to third-placed Tottenham on Sunday with the Londoners eight points behind.