Pavlyuchenko hints at Tottenham exit

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The Independent Online

Roman Pavlyuchenko is set to feature in Tottenham's Carling Cup clash at Doncaster but has suggested he may need to move to keep his place in Russia's World Cup squad.

The 27-year-old, who arrived at White Hart Lane a year ago for £13.8million, scored 14 goals in his rookie season in the Barclays Premier League but is behind Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane in Harry Redknapp's pecking order, with Peter Crouch's arrival intensifying competition.

So far this season Pavlyuchenko's only involvement has come in a minute-long appearance off the bench against Liverpool.

"No footballer likes being on the bench game after game," Pavlyuchenko told Sport Express in Russia. "I could lose my place in the Russia squad ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

"I'm ready now to listen to offers from other clubs."

Italian side Roma have monitored Pavlyuchenko and there is thought to be interest in Germany and from his former club Spartak Moscow.

Spurs boss Redknapp will be more encouraged by Luka Modric's reaction to wild speculation linking him with Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson known to be an admirer of the Croatia playmaker who has made an eye-catching start to the season.

Modric told Sportske Novosti: "I feel great at Tottenham and I have given no thought to moving to a different club. My contract runs until 2013 and I am just thinking about staying.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Tottenham offer me a new contract as that is something which happens in England. But, even if that doesn't happen, my feelings will not change.

"I am happy at White Hart Lane and I will continue to give my all for Tottenham, as I always have."

Modric is expected to be rested for the trip to the Keepmoat Stadium to face Sean O'Driscoll's Championship side, while fringe players such as Pavlyuchenko will be given a chance to impress.

Redknapp feels he needs to rotate after a gruelling pre-season schedule.

"You want to win," he said. "I'll make lots of changes because we have a strong squad and the lads who have played had a tough pre-season.

"We went on a very difficult trip to China and then Hong Kong, then the Wembley Cup. No-one could have crowded more games than we did and it was not an ideal preparation.

"We've come out of it and started well but this gives me a chance to play the good players who haven't featured yet.

"Doncaster are a real good footballing team. They pass the ball well and move it around. It will be a tough game but we have good players ourselves."

Redknapp's side have started with three league wins on the spin, leading bookmakers to cut their odds to 33-1 for the title, but Redknapp said: "I'd keep your money in your pocket. It's a good start but that's all it is."

The Carling Cup - after reaching the final in the last two seasons - is a more likely route for success, although Redknapp does have ambitions of pushing for a Champions League place.

"You have to be optimistic," he said. "It's not impossible and there is no reason why we can't push the top four. We don't fear anyone, we'll play against anyone and give them a game. We've got top players here.

"We have to believe we can keep going and push the top four. That is the aim but it will be tough."

Meanwhile, Redknapp is assessing Honduras defender Osman Chavez, who is on trial this week at the club.

"It's not just the Brazilians and Argentinians, who always produce good players," Redknapp said. "There are players from Honduras or Ecuador who you have to be aware of."

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