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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Pavlyuchenko in dark over Sporting loan reports

Roman Pavlyuchenko says he knows absolutely nothing about reports suggesting Tottenham have agreed to transfer the Russian striker to Sporting Lisbon.

• Live transfer blog: July 21

Portuguese daily A Bola claimed that Pavlychenko could join Sporting on a season-long loan deal and that the two clubs would split the player's wages.

But Pavlyuchenko is currently with Tottenham for their pre-season tour to the USA and claims that even if Spurs were willing to let him leave, he would only contemplate a return to his home country.

"They came to an agreement about everything? It's the first I've heard about it," Pavlyuchenko told the Daily Mail. "I know nothing about this.

"Nobody spoke to me about moving to Portugal. Therefore there is nothing to comment on, especially as the question of priorities is still the same for me: if not England, then Russia."

However, Pavlyuchenko's agent Thomas Zorn says talks are indeed underway between the two clubs, even if Tottenham's financial demands could complicate matters.

Negotiations exist with Tottenham for the loan of the player but I think that this is complicated by money," Zorn told Portuguese media. "Pavlyuchenko has a price and the money situation of Sporting makes it very difficult to reach an agreement."

The striker almost joined Birmingham last January but enjoyed a renaissance in his first-team fortunes when scoring nine goals in eight games between January 23 and March 24.

He does however face strong competition from Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane and has endured a strained relationship with Harry Redknapp at times.

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