Jermain Defoe has revealed he has been told he can leave Tottenham Hotspur by manager Juande Ramos but insists he wants to stay at the north London club.
The England striker's contract runs out in the summer and he has been linked with a move away from White Hart Lane after failing to command a regular starting spot under Ramos since his arrival from Sevilla.
However, the 25-year-old is adamant he wants to remain in north London and wants to become a first-team regular.
Defoe told The Sun: 'The manager has said I can leave if I want - but I want to prove him wrong. I want to stay here.
'He called me into his office and told me. At first I thought it was a joke, I thought he was going to say I would be starting against Arsenal in the Carling Cup which was why he didn't give me a game against Reading at the weekend.
'But he just said `You can leave if you want to.' Yet I have no intentions of leaving this club because I love it here.
'I would love to sign a new contract - and I know people at the top of the club want me to stay.
'But no-one can expect me to sign a new deal if I can't get a game.'