Pavlyuchenko 'has to leave'

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The Independent Football

The Tottenham Hotspur striker Roman Pavlyuchenko is planning showdown talks with his manager Harry Redknapp after the international break during which he will "insist" on being allowed to leave the club in January.

The Russian has been largely frozen out at White Hart Lane this season and fears his lack of first-team action could cost him the chance of playing at next year's World Cup finals, with Russia coach Guus Hiddink this week warning that he could miss out altogether if he is not playing regularly.

Regarded as Spurs' fourth-choice striker behind Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane and Peter Crouch, 27-year-old Pavlyuchenko has made just six appearances in all competitions for Spurs this season, and has lost his place in the Russian starting XI.

Hiddink's side contest the opening game of their World Cup play-off against Slovenia in Moscow on Saturday with a place at the World Cup at stake, and should Russia triumph over the two legs, Pavlyuchenko is determined to stay in the reckoning for South Africa.

"I want to leave the club," said Pavlyuchenko, whose four Premier League outings this season have all come from the bench. "It is impossible to remain there under the circumstances I find myself in. I have been sitting on the subs' bench for half a year and as a result lost a place in the starting XI of the national team.

"And now hopefully we will get to the World Cup – who will rely on a forward who does not play? I want to play and not just warm the bench."

Spurs splashed out £14m to sign the Russian from Spartak Moscow in August 2008 and the striker fears the board's likely desire to recoup the bulk of that outlay could scupper his chances of a move away from north London.