Pedro had been heavily linked to Manchester United all summer with the completion of his transfer from Barcelona seeming imminent for weeks.
Confusion still surrounds the nature of the eventual breakdown of the move however, with the club insisting they ‘ended their interest’ in the Spain international shortly before Chelsea moved to sign him for £21.4million.
Former Tottenham, Portsmouth and Southampton boss Redknapp has spoken of his sympathy for United and manager Louis van Gaal, revealing that he experienced a similar collapse of a deal while manager of Bournemouth – with the out-of-work manager blaming interactive television service Teletext for one particular case.
‘Part of the problem is nothing is done in secret any more,’ Redknapp wrote in his column for the London Evening Standard. ‘Clubs have people operating everywhere and having a deal hijacked is nothing new.
‘One of the greatest examples I had was back in 1990 when manager of Bournemouth and I was going to sign Ian Woan from non-League Runcorn. I watched him twice in midweek — freezing cold nights — and we loved him. I met his dad, who was an ex-professional at Aldershot.
‘We did a deal with Runcorn to buy Ian and he was supposed to come down on the Tuesday to sign. His dad, Alan, phoned me and said: “I am working today so I can’t make it down. Can we come down in the morning? I really want to be there when my boy signs his first professional contract.”
‘Ian’s dad didn’t really need to be there but I agreed. That night it was on Teletext that Woan was coming down to Bournemouth to sign for £40,000. Brian Clough was in his office with two of his backroom staff, Alan Hill and Ron Fenton, and he saw it on the television.
‘Cloughie said: “Bournemouth have a good record in signing non-League players. Who’s this Ian Woan?” None of them had any idea but Ron knew the Runcorn manager and he phoned him to ask if the deal was done.
‘They were told it was happening the next day for £40,000. Cloughie immediately offered £80,000, got him down that night and signed him. I got a call at 11.30pm saying we’d missed out.
‘I lost a player to Teletext, so imagine how hard it is to keep a deal quiet now with 24-rolling news, social media and agents talking to journalists all the time! What can you do?’