Spurs give pledge to frustrated Defoe over starting games

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The Independent Football

Jermain Defoe has held talks with Tottenham Hotspur over his future at the club and has been given guarantees that he will start more games this season. The 25-year-old striker has told Spurs that he does not want to leave, but also that he will not sign a new five-year contract unless he makes more appearances. He said he wants to review his future later this season.

Defoe has 22 months left on his current deal and Spurs are concerned that he will run down his contract and leave for free or for a lower transfer fee than they could realise if he is tied to a longer contract.

Martin Jol, Spurs' manager, last week publicly urged Defoe to sign his new contract after The Independent revealed that the two had argued following the league victory against Derby County during which the striker played just 14 minutes.

However, Defoe has also told Spurs that he does want to stay at the club. He feels settled, having recently got engaged and bought a new home in Hertfordshire, but is also concerned that the lack of games is affecting his chances of playing for England.

Several clubs have expressed an interest in Defoe but there has not been a move, so far, from any of the big four. Chelsea yesterday released a statement denying suggestions that they wanted to do a swap deal, with Shaun Wright-Phillips moving to White Hart Lane.

Spurs are cooling talk that they are about to make a late move for West Bromwich Albion's Curtis Davies. The defender would like to join the north London side, and there is interest, but not at the £10m price being quoted by the Championship club.

l Leicester City last night announced that they had parted company with their manager Martin Allen by mutual consent.