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Dec 31, 2009

Harry Redknapp won't rise to Roman Pavlyuchenko bait

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has brushed aside an outburst from Roman Pavlyuchenko and insists he is not desperate to sell the Russian striker when the transfer window opens in January.

• Redknapp rules out deals

Pavlyuchenko arrived in North London amid much fanfare having starred for Russia at Euro 2008, but an investment of £13.8 million has returned only five Premier League goals in 32 appearances.

Having failed to start a single league game this season, it is clear that Pavlyuchenko has run out of patience with his manager and the lack of opportunities that have been afforded him and the former Spartak Moscow star has made his frustration clear.

"You cannot even imagine how tired I am of sitting on the bench. Do you want to hear a joke in London? It goes: Harry Redknapp put Roman Pavlyuchenko into the starting line-up," Pavlyuchenko told the Russian press. "For me it would be funny if it was not so painful. I have a feeling that our manager is mocking me."

Pavlyuchenko has reserved his best performances for cup competitions, scoring twice in three FA Cup appearances and seven times in eight games in the Carling Cup.

However, the Russian was bitterly disappointed to be left on the bench when Tottenham exited the latter competition following a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United on December 1, especially as he claims Redknapp promised him he would play some part in the game.

"On the eve of the match he asked me to come to see him," Pavlyuchenko continued. "He said: 'Tomorrow will be a chance to show your best in front of 75,000 spectators. We need to use it.' He used it by keeping me on the bench for 90 minutes."

Redknapp, though, denies having promised Pavlyuchenko he would play and the Spurs boss insists that the striker will only be sold if an adequate offer is made in January.

Redknapp said: "He wasn't told he was going to play in certain games, he said his head wasn't right to play football at that time and I said 'well, if your not ready to play football...'

"That's the situation. If you've got a problem come and see me about it. The club's going great, top four in the league, playing fantastic, we're winning football matches galore, it's never been better here. I wouldn't let one person destabilise that.

"If he wants to leave and somebody comes in with an offer of what he's worth, we'd have to look at it, but I'm not crazy to shift him out.

"I had a chat with him a couple of weeks ago and he said he felt he wanted a move but it is up to someone to come on with an offer that's good enough for us to even look at it, otherwise there's no chance of him leaving.''

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