Pavlyuchenko seeks Spurs exit to save Russia place

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The Independent Football

Roman Pavlyuchenko yesterday announced that he is ready to leave White Hart Lane. The Tottenham Hotspur striker is set to feature in his side's Carling Cup tie at Doncaster tonight but has said that he needs to move to keep his place in the Russia squad ahead of next summer's World Cup finals.

The 27-year-old, who arrived at Spurs a year ago for £13.8million, scored 14 goals in his first season in the Premier League but is behind Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane in Harry Redknapp's pecking order, with Peter Crouch's arrival intensifying competition up front. 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 the Russian press. "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."

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

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."

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