Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp insists Roman Pavlyuchenko will not be allowed to destabilise the club’s season after revealing the striker’s “head wasn’t right” to play in a recent game.
Pavlyuchenko, 28, has been quoted in Russia claiming Redknapp was “mocking” him by telling him he would play in the Carling Cup clash at Manchester United then not using him – but the Spurs manager offers a different version of events.
Redknapp said: “He wasn’t told he was going to play in certain games, he said his head wasn’t right to play football at that time and I said ’well, if your not ready to play football...’
“That’s the situation. If you’ve got a problem come and see me about it. The club’s going great, top four in the league playing fantastic, we’re winning football matches galore, it’s never been better here. I wouldn’t let one person destabilise that.”
Pavlyuchenko, who has not played since the defeat to Arsenal at the end of October, looks set to leave White Hart Lane if Spurs can recoup most of the £13.8m they paid Spartak Moscow at the start of last season.
“If he wants to leave and somebody comes in with an offer of what he’s worth, we’d have to look at it, but I’m not crazy to shift him out,” Redknapp confirmed.
“I had a chat with him a couple of weeks ago and he said he felt he wanted a move but it is up to someone to come on with an offer that’s good enough for us to even look at it, otherwise there’s no chance of him leaving.”
Pavlyuchenko could feature against Peterborough in the FA Cup at the weekend as Jermain Defoe, who has fired Spurs into the top four of the Barclays Premier League heading into 2010, is nursing a slight foot complaint.
Aaron Lennon, who has also played a huge role in the first half of the season, is definitely ruled out and faces a fortnight on the sidelines.
“He’s picked up a bit of a groin strain and will be out for a couple of weeks,” Redknapp said. “He’s been fantastic and has had a great season for us.” Jonathan Woodgate is still “a long, long way” from returning after a groin problem but Redknapp insists he will not be looking for a centre-back in January.
He has been linked West Ham’s Matthew Upson, but Redknapp said: “He’s a good player but I’ve got good defenders at the club.
“We keep getting linked with players but were not looking to do anything to be honest.” He is also an admirer of Portsmouth’s David James but is only looking for a reserve goalkeeper.
“He’s a world-class goalkeeper but I have a fantastic goalkeeper here and David James won’t want to be number two anywhere,” Redknapp said. “If David James wants to play for England in the World Cup he will want to be a number one.”
Redknapp has sympathy for the situation at Pompey, which could lead to the likes of James being sold.
He said: “They need an owner that is going to put the money in, they keep walking in and walking out. There has to be someone out there that can help. ”It’s like any football club, once the man at the top is not going to fund the club, you’re in trouble. That is what has happened there and it can happen at any club.
“They’ve sold about £80m worth of players, how many more can they sell?”