Tim Sherwood insists that he would not hesitate to sign Emmanuel Adebayor if he displayed a genuine desire to join Aston Villa. Speaking before the striker finally ended speculation over his future by reaching an agreement over the mutual termination of his contact at Tottenham, the Villains boss cast doubt on the possibility of any immediate move with the summer transfer window now closed for business.
Free agents are permitted to sign for new teams outside of that allotted period, however Adebayor will likely now have to wait until January in order to pen terms elsewhere, given that he was still registered as a player at White Hart Lane beyond the September deadline. He could yet potentially approach Fifa for special dispensation to join another Premier League outfit, although at this stage the 31-year-old's short-term plans remain unclear after he was omitted from Mauricio Pochettino's squads for both the Premier and Europa League competitions, in addition to Togo coach Tom Saintfiet hinting that he is unlikely to play for his country again.
After losing the services of first-choice striker Christian Benteke to Liverpool in a £32m ($49.3m) deal this summer, Villa were one of the clubs to show a real interest in ending Adebayor's Tottenham nightmare but saw a potential loan deal collapse amid apparent reservations from the player over relocating to the Midlands. Despite this, Sherwood believes the former Arsenal and Manchester City frontman still has the talent necessary to further improve his new-look squad.
"I would not hesitate," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports with regards to Adebayor on 12 September. "If he had the desire to want to come and play football again, I would have taken him in a heartbeat. We still have to respect his decision, whatever he makes. It's his – I can't influence it.
"Am I disappointed? I'm disappointed for him because he's not going to play. He's too good a talent – I've seen that first hand – to not play any football, but unfortunately I don't think there's any window open for him now."
Adebayor, who moved to north London permanently in 2012, following a successful season-long loan spell that yielded 17 goals, was not even handed a squad number by Tottenham ahead of the new campaign, after finding the net just twice in 11 appearances in all competitions last term. According to The Mirror, he rejected a lucrative move to Qatar in January and Sherwood believes he retains the desire to play top-flight football.
"If he wanted to play in Qatar he would have gone there a long time ago," he added. "It's hard to say. I was going to say he's not in it for the money but, genuinely, he wants to play at the top level. It's not financial. It's easy to say that when you're on his money, but he would genuinely play for nothing. It's not his fault he's not part of their plans."
West Ham were among other Adebayor's other suitors during the recent window, but co-owner David Gold subsequently claimed he was probably too expensive for Slaven Bilic. It seems unlikely that the Hammers will re-visit their interest in the new year either, given that they recently boosted their attacking options with the signings of Nikica Jelavic, Victor Moses and Michail Antonio.