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The Toe Poke

Portsmouth ready to sell Defoe for right price

Portsmouth have confirmed they would be willing to sell Jermain Defoe if they received an acceptable offer.

The striker was benched for the game against Arsenal at the weekend and is rumoured to be interested in a return to White Hart Lane under former boss Harry Redknapp.

Portsmouth's executive chairman, Peter Storrie has promised to back manager Tony Adams in the transfer window, but claimed the club would be willing to sell Defoe for the right price.

"It looks like Jermain wants to go. That is something we will be speaking to him about," said Storrie. "If Jermain goes it will be at our price and if there is an offer which appeals. We have always said we do not keep people who do not want to play for Portsmouth. We do not have to sell anyone but if he wants to go that is a different matter."

Tottenham are just one of the clubs interested in Defoe and although Redknapp has said he will not pay ''silly money'' for anyone, he is believed to be ready to offer £15 million for the England striker.

The struggling south coast club may be forced to cash in on Defoe, but they have already begun to bring in new players to the squad.

Pompey have already secured full-back Nadir Belhadj on a permanent deal for £4.4million after he impressed during his loan from Lens and despite the fact that Adams brought in £20 milllion from the sale of Lassana Diarra to Real Madrid, Portsmouth have not confirmed how much of that will be available to the manager.

Storrie told the Portsmouth News: ''I never talk about money but Tony will be given the means if he wants to strengthen the squad.

''From talking to him I know he is looking to do most of his business in the summer. That's when he feels we will get more value for money and more players are available.

''But we are still talking to people now and are looking to bring in two or three during the transfer window to improve the squad.

''All this about selling this player and that player, it's utter rubbish. We are primarily looking to recruit and are planning to bring players in.

''It would take something exceptional or the player wanting to move on somewhere for anyone else to leave.''

Storrie also confirmed Lauren and Richard Duffy would be released from their contracts this month if they can find an employer.

He added: ''Lauren and Duffy have asked if they can leave in January and we have said they can.

''They have to find new clubs, however, and their agents are currently circulating their names.''


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