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Europa League round of 16 draw

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By ESPN Staff

Spurs deny interest in Martins

Tottenham have no interest in signing Inter Milan's want-away striker Obafemi Martins despite consistent speculation linking the Nigerian with a move to White Hart Lane.

Spurs have become increasingly frustrated by their continued association with the player and, short of putting out a public denial on their official website, Spurs sources have made it clear they have never had any interest in signing the youngster.

Martins has become the target for a number of Premiership clubs after handing in a transfer request earlier this week.

The arrival of Chelsea's Hernan Crespo on a two-year loan deal triggered the Nigerian's decision to leave Inter even though he is contracted to the club for a further four years.

But Spurs have let it be known they were never in the hunt for the player who is likely to command a fee in the region of £15million.

However, the club remain linked Egyptian striker Mido, who is expected to return to White Hart Lane on a permanent deal after spending the last 18 months at the club on loan from Roma.

Meanwhile, the club's Ivory Coast midfielder Didier Zokora will make his home debut in their weekend friendly against Real Sociedad.

Coach Martin Jol confirmed the midfielder would start and is believes he has all the right qualities to make an instant impact in the Premiership.

Jol said: 'We've seen already that Zokora is a terrific player, an all-rounder. He's the complete player. He can pass, he can win the ball and he's good on the ball as well.

'It's a big thing, your first game at White Hart Lane. The fans will be able to see what he's all about and I think he's a quality player, one of the best in his position in Europe and he showed that in Germany as well.

'You never know - perhaps he will need a couple of months to get used to England, maybe he'll do it straightaway.'

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are understood to be in pole position to sign Wigan defender Pascal Chimbonda after Spurs refused to meet the £5.75 million asking price.

Middlesbrough are thought to be in the market for a new right-back and new boss Gareth Southgate is keen on bringing in a more experienced defender such as Chimbonda.

Boro have the cash available to meet Wigan's demands and the player would relish a move after becoming the subject of taunts from home fans during their friendly with Halifax last weekend.