The minimal chance of Mauricio Pochettino performing a U-turn and utilising the talents of Emmanuel Adebayor following his failure to sign a new striker before this week's transfer deadline now appears even more remote, with the Tottenham outcast left out of the club's squad for the group stages of the 2015/16 Europa League.
The former Arsenal forward, who moved to White Hart Lane permanently in August 2012 following a successful season-long loan spell from Premier League rivals Manchester City, became seen as something of a liability last term after scoring just two goals in 17 total appearances and failing to provide necessary competition for Harry Kane, along with the similarly underwhelming Roberto Soldado.
While Soldado was sold to Villarreal in August at a significant loss, Adebayor's decline was underlined by the fact that he, like Aaron Lennon, was not assigned a squad number for the new Premier League campaign. Tottenham were evidently very eager to offload the 31 year old this summer, but a proposed reunion with former manager Tim Sherwood at Aston Villa collapsed due to his apparent reluctance to relocate.
A possible move to West Ham was mooted on the final day of business, but co-chairman David Gold has since revealed that Slaven Bilic's interest in any deal subsided due to the cost involved – Adebayor still earns £100,000-per-week according to The Telegraph – and the imminent arrival of Nikica Jelavic from Hull supplementing the return to fitness of Andy Carroll, Mauro Zarate and Enner Valencia.
Tottenham were then said to be considering offering a mutual termination of his contract, although those talks supposedly broke down when the club refused his demands to have that aforementioned wage paid up in full at a cost of around £5m ($7.6m). It is thought that a financial package could still be agreed, leaving the player free to sign for another club outside of the allotted window.
With the London Evening Standard now reporting that he is also expected to be omitted from Pochettino's 25-man Premier League squad, such an exit could be Adebayor's best option at this stage of his career. He was the only notable absentee from the group selected for European duty.
Tottenham, who published a statement on 2 September in which Pochettino and chairman Daniel Levy attempted to rationalise their transfer dealings after coming in for criticism from the club's supporters trust, have begun the new season with three draws and one defeat from their opening four top-flight matches, and were last week drawn into Group J of the Europa League alongside Monaco, Anderlecht and FK Qarabag of Azerbaijan.
Tottenham squad for the Europa League group stage:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Kieran Trippier, Federico Fazio, Kevin Wimmer, Ben Davies
Midfielders: Ryan Mason, Erik Lamela, Andros Townsend, Moussa Dembele, Dele Alli, Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen, Alex Pritchard, Tom Carroll
Forwards: Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Clinton Njie