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By ESPN Staff

Defoe sold before he 'did a Campbell'

Tottenham have revealed they sanctioned Jermain Defoe's move to Portsmouth for fear of losing him for nothing as they did with Sol Campbell. Defoe had 18 months left on his contract at White Hart Lane and there had been no progress in agreeing an extension while his first-team opportunities were limited. 'The club reluctantly agreed the transfer of Jermain in light of there being less than 18 months left on his contract,' read a statement from Spurs. At the start of the season Martin Jol, manager at the time, highlighted Defoe's contract situation as a concern for chairman Daniel Levy. Campbell left for nothing in 2001 to rivals Arsenal and Levy wanted to avoid a repeat with Defoe. However, Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane remained the first-choice strike pairing for Jol, who left the club at the end of October, and hi successor Juande Ramos. Defoe still enjoyed a positive relationship with Spurs fans and had talked of signing a new deal, but took up Harry Redknapp's offer of leading the attack at Fratton Park. It was part of a flurry of activity for Spurs on transfer-deadline day, with Paul Stalteri and Anthony Gardner going out on loan. Gilberto's transfer from Hertha Berlin was completed despite a delay for the paperwork to go through, rather than suggestions of a failed medical. 'There were no issues arising from his medical,' added Spurs' statement. 'The delay was entirely due to the player needing to return to Germany as part of the work permit process in order to obtain his entry clearance visa.'