Redknapp clearly likes the Sandbanks-Brum commute

Date published: Thursday 11th May 2017 9:00 - Matthew Stead

Harry Redknapp is on the verge of finalising a one-year contract to stay on as Birmingham manager.

The 70-year-old has been in talks with the club and a deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the week, Press Association Sport understands.

Steve Cotterill and Paul Groves are expected to remain as part of Redknapp’s backroom staff, although no agreements have yet been reached.

Redknapp was appointed last month for the final three games of the season after Gianfranco Zola quit, and kept the club in the Sky Bet Championship on the final day.

Sunday’s 1-0 win at Bristol City ensured survival as Blues finished 19th, two points above the relegation zone, with Blackburn dropping into League One.

Under Redknapp, Birmingham also beat Huddersfield 2-0, although they lost the derby against Aston Villa 1-0 in his first game in charge.

He spent Tuesday afternoon in discussions with owners Trillion Trophy Asia, having also met representatives on Sunday, and, unless there is a late hitch in negotiations, the ex-Tottenham manager is expected to stay.

If so, he will be working alongside Jeff Vetere, who was appointed the club’s director of football on Wednesday afternoon.

The 50-year-old will help the manager to identify and sign new players, while also providing support to the club’s medical, sports science and welfare departments and the academy.

“It is an honour to be given this opportunity to work at such a great football club, with a lot of tradition and a great fan base,” Vetere told Birmingham’s website.

“Football is my life and to be part of this new project, to help push the club forward, is an exciting challenge.”

Vetere has held the role of technical director at both West Ham and Charlton, was technical co-ordinator at Newcastle and chief scout at Aston Villa, and also spent four months at Real Madrid.

Redknapp made no secret he would be open to becoming permanent manager, although needed assurances on the club’s ambition and transfer budget.

Birmingham are expected to have cash to spend in the summer, even after Zola spent around £10million on new signings in January.

The Italian, who replaced Gary Rowett in December, only won twice in 24 games before quitting following a 2-0 home defeat to Burton last month.

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