Very sorry Harry but you can't have Parker back, says AVB
The Tottenham manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has dashed any hopes that Queens Park Rangers might have of signing or even borrowing Scott Parker or Michael Dawson in the January transfer window. Heurelho Gomes, now the club's fourth-choice goalkeeper, will be allowed to leave but he is one of the few players from his former club that Rangers' new manager, Harry Redknapp, would have no great use for.
"It's hard for me to say what QPR's decision-making will be in the transfer window," Villas-Boas said. "Obviously Harry knows these players very well and if he has to add to his squad he will certainly look to our players, but we don't want to sell these two or loan them."
Parker has not played all season because of an Achilles injury sustained in August, but he may return as a substitute against Swansea City today. Spurs had a heavy turnover of midfield players in the summer and there were suggestions that Sandro and Mousa Dembélé, backed by Gylfi Sigurdsson, would be the preferred central midfield partnership if everyone was fit.
Villas-Boas could hardly have been more emphatic, however, when he said Parker was a key player who would appear regularly, adding: "Everybody has to compete [for places] but we recognise the importance of the player and rate him very, very highly. He offers us even more possibilities in midfield. Experience, leadership, communication skills, all that. We have good recoverers of the ball in Sandro and Mousa in that midfield area but Scotty takes us to another level."
Dawson, who went from being club captain to substitute in a bewilderingly short time, has also been tipped for a move, but Villas-Boas is keen to keep him at least until Younes Kaboul, another long-term injury victim, returns to full fitness in the next few weeks.
"Younes went through this period of injury and there is that period where you have to recover and come back into the game," he explained. "It takes two or three weeks to gain match fitness. Also we have used Jan [Vertonghen] at left-back so it is not excessive in terms of [central defensive] numbers."
Brad Friedel is another player Spurs want to keep, even though Hugo Lloris has finally supplanted the 41-year-old as No 1 goalkeeper. Friedel was forced to surrender his astonishing record earlier this season of having played in 310 successive Premier League games for Blackburn, Aston Villa and Tottenham.
This afternoon the club would welcome the Frenchman keeping a clean sheet at home to Swansea, he and Friedel having managed only two in the 16 League games so far.
Villas-Boas is an admirer of the Welsh club's manager, Michael Laudrup, not least for the way that he has managed to overcome the sort of doubts that he himself faced in some quarters after taking over from a popular predecessor last summer. "If you recall, he had a difficult time in the beginning when questions were being raised," he said. "It is good for him to have managed to turn it around and put a wonderful team together.
"They have continuously stunned everyone with their results and the quality of football they play. As a player he was amazing and as a coach I think he's on the right track."
Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City is on Sky Sports 1 today, kick-off 1.30pm
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