Premier League

Villas-Boas: Defoe in Spurs' plans

Defoe has found himself starting primarily in Tottenham's domestic and European cup matches.
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Andre Villas-Boas insists Jermain Defoe will snub a move to the MLS and stay with Tottenham.

Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen, who played with Defoe at Spurs two years ago, this week declared his interest in signing the striker.

Defoe has 18 months left to run on his current deal and is second choice at Tottenham despite finding the target eight times this season.

Villas-Boas has preferred to use £26 million man Roberto Soldado ahead of Defoe, with the 31-year-old being used primarily for the domestic and European cup competitions.

Despite this, Villas-Boas still values Defoe highly and does not want to let the diminutive hitman leave.

"I have seen in the press that there is reported interest (from Toronto), but we want the player to stay on and hold on to those last years of his contract," the Spurs boss said.

"In the end the player is committed to the club and the club is committed to the player."

Defoe recently spoke of his frustration at a lack of first-team opportunities at Spurs - something that could cost him dear in the fight for a place in England's World Cup squad.

But Villas-Boas believes the player is determined to win back his place in the side after becoming joint-record scorer for the club in Europe this season.

"The player at the moment is our top goal scorer and he is chasing the European record for the club as well which is important for his individual motivation," Villas-Boas said.

"I think he is extremely happy, not only because of what he has achieved, but also because of the smile on his face.

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"He has had a better start than he had last year. That is an impressive goals tally and he is a player that everyone cherishes."

Nelsen, who played for Spurs in Harry Redknapp's final six months at the helm, lavished praise on Defoe during an interview this week, admitting he would be an "unbelievable" signing for the Canadian club.

Villas-Boas says he is not concerned at Nelsen's revelation that he regularly speaks to his former Tottenham teammate.

"I'm fine with this," the Portuguese said. "I have no problem (with it). In the end situations like this can happen."
 

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