Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor expected to depart for African Nations Cup

Spurs will be left with just Jermain Defoe as a recognised striker

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor looks set to go to the African Nations Cup after Togo officials said they expect to convince the 28-year-old to take part.

Adebayor’s absence would leave Jermain Defoe as the only senior striker at the club and although head coach Andre Villas-Boas has used Clint Dempsey in attack, the club are now likely to intensify their search for another forward as a result.

Adebayor came out of international retirement in August but a row over unpaid bonuses and concerns over security and Togo’s build-up to the tournament in South Africa mean he has not confirmed whether he will play.

But with the deadline to submit final squads falling in two days, sources in Togo appear confident Adebayor will link up with them, with reports in his homeland even claiming that the 28-year-old would hold a press conference today to announce his availability.

The player was pictured at Heathrow this morning on his way to Ghana, a neighbouring country of Togo, after Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas gave his players three days off following the 3-0 win over Coventry in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

The Evening Standard also understands there is a growing belief at White Hart Lane that they will be without Adebayor for at least the next four matches, three of which are in the League and one in the FA Cup. Togo’s final group game is on January 30 and Spurs travel to West Brom in the League on February 3. The African Cup of Nations final is on February 10.

Gabriel Ameyi, the president of the Togolese Football Association, is also reported to have told Algerian radio: “Of course we will go to the competition with Adebayor.

“We will all be together in South Africa. It is very important to have him because he is our player and team captain.”

Togo’s president, Faure Gnassingbe, had planned to hold talks with Adebayor to reassure the player about the conditions in which the squad would work as they prepared for the competition.

Adebayor was on the Togo team bus that was attacked during the Cup of Nations in Angola three years ago, in which the team’s assistant coach, their official spokesman and the bus driver were killed.

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