Jol remains confident of holding on to Mido

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The Independent Online

The Tottenham coach Martin Jol admits he is powerless to stop his on-loan Egyptian striker Mido from signing for another club but remains hopeful of persuading him to stay.

Jol insists Spurs are still locked in talks with Mido and his adviser Mino Raiola on making his temporary stay a permanent one.

Raiola yesterday said that other clubs had overtaken Spurs in the race to land the player, who has been on loan at the club from Roma since January 2005. But Jol denied he was reluctant to speak out about the situation because Raiola also looks after his interests.

The Monaco-based agent suggested that Spurs were unwilling to match Roma's valuation of the player and Jol admitted that his future would ultimately be decided by the right negotiations.

"We are talking to him and I appreciate he has got the right to talk to other clubs as well because he is on loan," Jol admitted. "I don't know if he has already spoken to other clubs, they won't tell me that.

"It is his right to talk to other clubs but we are all in the same boat. Mido knows what we think and I know what he wants so there is no problem. It is up to him but of course it is about money. If we want to sign somebody, it is about money."

Jol said he does not get involved in the financial aspects of transfers and reiterated that it is not a disadvantage having the same agent as the player.

"It is not a real problem because on the other hand, I would never have got him if I hadn't known his agent," Jol said. "So that was an advantage. It is not a disadvantage now."

Neither does the Dutch coach fear that some of Tottenham's Premiership rivals will try to steal the player from under their noses at the end of the season.

"Maybe he will go back to Roma, you never know," Jol said. "We could have done business with them earlier. But I told him if he scores between 12 and 15 goals and looks sharp, then he has got his deal. We will wait and see what happens."

In a week when Jol was boosted by the decisions of the teenage winger Aaron Lennon and the centre-back Michael Dawson to sign long-term contracts, he revealed the club had also opened negotiations on a deal with the midfielder Michael Carrick.

"Carrick has another two years after this season so there is no hurry but I think they talked to him a couple of months ago," he said.

Jol takes his side to Newcastle tomorrow with the Spurs coach predicting their game with Arsenal next month could ultimately decide who claims fourth spot in the Premiership and a place in next season's Champions League.

"I thought six weeks ago that we needed six wins," Jol said. "But I feel maybe we have to win all the games now.

"If Arsenal win the Champions' League, we are out of it anyway so I just want to focus on our character, performance and ambition. Then we have to wait and see if it is enough."

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