Andre Villas-Boas admits he was prepared to let Emmanuel Adebayor leave Tottenham over the summer

The striker has been ordered to train with the reserves

Andre Villas-Boas admits he was happy to let Emmanuel Adebayor leave Tottenham this summer.

The Spurs manager revealed on Thursday that Adebayor has been ordered to train with the club's reserves.

Adebayor barely featured in pre-season following the £26million signing of Roberto Soldado and he was then given extra time off following the death of his brother in Togo.

The 29-year-old returned to London at the end of last month, but he has since gone back to Togo, for "personal reasons", according to Villas-Boas.

When Adebayor, who is one of the club's top earners, comes back on Monday, he will train with the reserves.

"At the moment Ade is not with us, because we have granted him authorisation to stay up until Monday in his country for personal reasons, so he's not going to be involved against Norwich (on Saturday)," the Tottenham manager said.

"Up to when I find it appropriate, he will train with the development team.

"He was a couple of weeks late in relation to the rest of the team, bearing in mind his personal tragedy. So at the moment, things stand as they are."

Adebayor spoke this week about his desire to become Tottenham's first-choice hitman, but the revelation that the former Arsenal striker was free to talk to other clubs suggests he does not feature in Villas-Boas' first-team plans.

Schalke and Besiktas were interested in Adebayor and Villas-Boas confirmed he was happy to let the striker leave.

"There were opportunities, yes, for him to leave," the Spurs boss said.

"But he was not interested in them, so he didn't.

"We had to think about the situation so we presented the player and his agents the situations we were presented with."

Villas-Boas insists he has no personal issue with Adebayor, who has proved a divisive figure at other clubs in the past.

But when offered a chance to promise that Adebayor would play for Spurs again, Villas-Boas only responded with: "There is a possibility."

The quiet way in which he delivered the response hardly smacked of a ringing endorsement, and when Villas-Boas was asked to assess the strength of his attacking options, there was no mention of Adebayor. "We have two great goal-scorers (Soldado and Jermain Defoe)," Villas-Boas said.

Tottenham host Norwich on Saturday in what will be the first match of the post-Gareth Bale era.

New signings Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen are likely to make their full debuts, but Vlad Chiriches will not play as Tottenham are yet to finalise a work permit for the Romanian defender.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is a doubt due to a leg injury while Etienne Capoue and Aaron Lennon are out.

PA

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