Jermain Defoe's future has been the subject of speculation in recent weeks. Will this week bring any news?
With the January transfer window just a couple of weeks away, speculation relating to some of football's biggest names is sure to arise.
After playing two games in a row for Tottenham Hotspur in early December, Defoe was dropped for Sunday's 5-0 humbling to Liverpool.
His ex-manager Andre Villas-Boas said he still saw a role for the striker in North London. The management has changed at Spurs. With plenty of games coming up we may see if that holds up under the new regime, or if the situation goes the other way.
Developments relating to a possible move away from Spurs for Defoe will be covered here throughout this week. Of course, anything suggesting he is going to stay will be noted, too.
As it would affect the striker's standing at Spurs, speculation surrounding other occurrences and speculation relating to the club's attack will be recorded here as well.
Make sure to check back here throughout the week.
LAST UPDATED WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 18
Canadian recording artist, Drake.
Wednesday December 18
Despite Andre Villas-Boas' departure as Tottenham manager, speculation is still emerging suggesting Jermain Defoe will join Toronto FC in January.
The Mirror's John Cross believes Defoe has been partly persuaded into joining the Major League Soccer side by Canadian hip-hop artist Drake.
Cross describes Defoe as a fan of Drake's, and reports the rapper reached out to him as part of his ambassadorial role for his home-city.
More pertinent for Spurs supporters will be Cross' detail that the striker would remain in North London "until pre-season starts ahead of the North American league's big kick-off on March 8."
In another article for The Mirror, Cross also writes that Emmanuel Adebayor will properly return to the Spurs first-team fold following Villas-Boas' removal.
Tonight sees Spurs take on West Ham United in their first match since the Portuguese left. It may provide our first clue as to the future of both Adebayor and Defoe at White Hart Lane.
Jermain Defoe, pictured in training earlier this season.
Monday December 16
Despite two positive Premier League performances from Jermain Defoe, Roberto Soldado's Europa League hat-trick last week earned him a recall for Tottenham's game with Liverpool on Sunday.
The Spaniard was largely ineffective, but much like some of his other games of late, he did not see much in the way of service.
Meanwhile, Defoe was left to watch on as his team succumbed to a humiliating 5-0 defeat.
Talk on Monday morning is of Andre Villas-Boas' future, with the Daily Mail's Neil Ashton and Sami Mokbel reporting the manager has "survived a crisis meeting with chairman Daniel Levy and technical director Franco Baldini."
Defoe's own prospects are likely to be discussed too as we head into Christmas, but could it be his boss who exits White Hart Lane first?
Defoe has been linked with Toronto again.
Sunday December 15
Richards also suggests the Canadian club would pay Tottenham $13 million for Defoe.
Rumours surrounding the England international's Spurs future had quietened down over the last week or so. With the January transfer window nearing ever closer, though, he looks set to be one of the North London outfit's more talked about potentially departing players.
This despite Defoe having started his team's previous two Premier League games. With several matches coming up as we head into the New Year, we might get a good idea of how firm a part the player is of manager Andre Villas-Boas' plans.
Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes.
Thursday December 12
Things have been largely quiet on the Jermain Defoe transfer talk-front. Two Premier League starts in a row and kind words from your manager (see next page) have the ability to slow down such stories.
Peter Vermes, coach of recent Major League Soccer Cup winners Sporting Kansas City, does though believe that America is in Defoe's future.
"I see both of them coming. I think it's going to happen," the Kansas City boss stated. "They are world-class players with great qualities that I think will only help enhance the league.
"Defoe, I think, is a done deal already but that's just my opinion. Frank was linked last year and I think he stayed on because (Jose) Mourinho was coming back."
Meanwhile, in his column The Mirror's Darren Lewis has passionately advocated Defoe "putting himself first for once."
After years on the periphery of both Tottenham and England's plans, Lewis argues that the 31-year-old should not worry too much about how his future plans affect them.
While right that there is no guarantee of a place for Defoe in England's World Cup squad, his prospects at Spurs have been revitalised by recent performances.
A good spell of form amid the several games coming up would certainly have the North London club in no rush to sell him.
The situation could yet change, though, as evident by an up-and-down campaign so far for Defoe and his fellow Spurs strikers.
Monday December 9
In a piece by the Daily Telegraph's Luke Edwards, Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas described himself as "extremely happy with (Jermain) Defoe," but admitted he "cannot stop speculation about the player's future."
As well as talking up the striker's deserving status as Spurs' first choice striker right now, Villas-Boas hinted that the player is in his plans beyond January.
"We have three great strikers and it’s a question of a choice and strategy," Villas-Boas told the Telegraph. "Jermain has been doing well so he deserves his place. It was a great performance from him.
"People can link him to other clubs, we can’t stop that. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to accept any offer and I think he knows he is better staying in the Premier League for his England chances."
Defoe hopes to stay in the England picture.
Sunday December 8
Speaking to Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara on Sky Sports' Goals on Sunday show, Jermain Defoe declared himself "happy" at Tottenham.
In response to questions about his Spurs future, the 31-year-old did not rule out the possibility of a move away, but was evidently pleased with his recent return to the starting line-up.
As this is as in-depth as Defoe has spoken on the subject in weeks, the full transcript of his comments are featured below.
Defoe on stories linking him with a transfer:
I think I’ve heard MLS, West Ham. I’ve heard them all to be honest. I think the most important thing for me over the years, I always try to focus on playing my football and let that do the talking. Because obviously when you get closer and closer to the January transfer window there is always going to be a lot of speculation.
It’s out of our hands really. Sometimes you might feel like you’re going to stay at a club and you end up going. Sometimes you think you’re going to go because you’re not playing and you end up staying, getting in the team and doing well.
On his Spurs status:
It’s funny because as it stands now I’ve played the last two games. If I’m being honest, I’m happy because I’ve managed to get myself in the team. I’ve been patient, kept myself sharp in training and worked hard. I think it is just a case of waiting for your chance, really. When you get your chance you’ve got to take it because there’s top players at the club. Players who can come in and you might be sitting on the bench for six, seven games.
It’s important to focus on playing for Tottenham, trying to get my goals and just trying to help the team to achieve something special. We’ll see what happens.
On speaking to Villas-Boas and competition for places in the Spurs squad:
I’ve knocked on his door a few times and he said to me “be patient, you’ll get your opportunities.” And that’s been it really. I’m at the age now I don’t really need to be knocking on the door all the time because at the end of the day I’ll just wait for my chance and make sure when I do I work hard for the team.
I believe if I’m getting the chances in games I’ll get my goals. But we’ve got such a strong squad, there’s a lot of players. Because it’s a World Cup year it is important for all the players. Everyone wants to play because it’s a World Cup year and you want to get on the plane. So I think its important for me to hopefully stay in the team now I’ve played the last two games I’ll hopefully stay in the team and I’ll be happy.
Defoe and Berbatov in action for Spurs in 2007-08.
Sunday December 8
Jermain Defoe started a second Premier League game in a row for the first time all season on Saturday.
Tottenham's 2-1 win over Sunderland saw manager Andre Villas-Boas hand his striker 90 minutes that were marked by a clutch of near-misses.
Defoe was denied twice by the post in the second half after good movement to get on the end of crosses by Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend. An even better run onto a Lewis Holtby pass was wasted by a snatched shot that drifted wide. After that Defoe was visibly annoyed with himself for misjudging the path of a Paulinho ball to the back post.
Despite not scoring, Defoe's involvement inside and out of the penalty box will have impressed Villas-Boas. The hope remains that Roberto Soldado will find his finishing form, but for now his livelier teammate may have the edge on being first choice up-front.
Both could soon face competition from a former strike partner of Defoe's if media reports are to be believed.
Jamie Sanderson of the Metro newspaper believes that Tottenham would like to bring the Bulgarian back to White Hart Lane, should he become available.
Thursday December 5
Not just quiet in regards to Jermain Defoe, there is little of note to talk about on the Tottenham transfer front as a whole.
Defoe might be feeling more confident about his Spurs future after 90 minutes in the 2-1 win over Fulham on Wednesday night.
As this writer wrote post-match, the striker was frequently involved against the Cottagers but suffered from similar issues to that faced by his forward rival Roberto Soldado.
Sunderland are next up for Spurs on Saturday evening. Defoe did enough to warrant another run-out, but manager Andre Villas-Boas could well restore Soldado who he will hope will be eager having not featured at all against Fulham.
Fulham's Rene Meulensteen.
Tuesday December 3
Recently appointed manager Rene Meulensteen is also said to be keen on a loan deal for ex-Spurs and Fulham man Clint Dempsey.
The Cottagers' squad is already home to Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Bent, Scott Parker and Adel Taarabt, though their ranks of former Spurs men did lose one with Sunday's sacking of manager Martin Jol.
Fulham host Spurs this Wednesday evening.
Defoe replaces Soldado in the 2-2 draw with Man United.
Monday December 2
Jermain Defoe played the final 20 minutes of Tottenham's 2-2 draw with Manchester United this past Sunday.
Having replaced Roberto Soldado up front, Defoe was lively but ultimately unsuccessful in his attempts to help his team to a late winner.
After the match, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas took time to defend Soldado in the midst of the Spain international's goal drought.
"I’m happy with Defoe’s performances," Villas-Boas said. "He came on today to try to help the team. He’s our top goalscorer. He has my support and I’m willing to keep him for the future."
Should Soldado's struggle to score continue, Defoe may find himself starting in the Premier League again soon enough.
With plenty of games coming up—including two this week—he will have ample opportunity to reiterate his value, if given the chance.
Further matches without opportunity may leave Defoe to doubt his future in the knowledge the January transfer window is getting ever closer.