Harry Redknapp was told by the Marseilles president, Vincent Labrune, that Loïc Rémy will not be allowed to leave the club this month when the Tottenham Hotspur manager attended the club's home game against Lille on Sunday night.
Redknapp was treated warmly by the French club and invited into Labrune's personal suite to watch the game but was left in no doubt that a move for the player was not an option this transfer window. Labrune told Redknapp that the club's supporters would never forgive him if he sanctioned the sale of the player, who scored both Marseilles' goals in Sunday's 2-0 win.
Tottenham recognise that they have to begin planning for life after Emmanuel Adebayor who is likely to prove out of their budget in the summer when his loan deal from Manchester City expires. Rémy, a France international, is one such option along with Demba Ba, who has a buy-out clause of less than £10m in his contract with Newcastle United. Until then Redknapp is not prepared to allow any of his strikers to leave.
Certainly there is no prospect of Redknapp sanctioning the sale of Jermain Defoe, who is the subject of interest from Liverpool this month. Redknapp complained last week that the player's new agent, Struan Marshall, who also represents Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Stewart Downing, was trying to secure Defoe a move away from White Hart Lane.
Liverpool's need for a new striker has been well-documented although £10m for Defoe may well be beyond the club's resources anyway. Redknapp has a good relationship with Defoe having managed him at West Ham and signed him twice, at Portsmouth and then Tottenham, and does not envisage the player causing trouble. Defoe is likely to start on Sunday against Manchester City, with Adebayor's loan arrangement preventing him from playing.
Rémy said yesterday he was staying at his club for the foreseeable future. "I will stay at Marseilles until the end of the season and even the end of my contract," he said. "I have spoken with the president and the staff. And it would not be right for me to leave this club.
"We'll see next summer, but leaving is not an option for now. I was told that he [Redknapp] was at the game, but it was not really an issue for me because I only found out after the game. While it is good that some clubs have an interest in me, I have agreed with the club to put it to one side until June. We will ask questions at the end of the season."
Ahead of Sunday's game against Manchester City at Eastlands, Gareth Bale said that Spurs were determined, this weekend, to show the League leaders just how far they had come since losing to them 5-1 in August. "It wasn't a great start to the season losing to the two Manchester clubs, but all the lads have shown what a great spirit we have here and the determination we have," he said. "We've come a long way since then. Hopefully it will be a good game, I'm sure it will be close and one we are looking forward to."