Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe REUTERS

Jermain Defoe has clarified reports regarding his Tottenham Hotspur future amid speculation he may endeavour to leave White Hart Lane this month.

The Times on Saturday suggested Tottenham were facing a battle to keep the 29-year-old after Defoe's agent reportedly informed his employers of interest from rival clubs including Queens Park Rangers and Sunderland. Liverpool have also been mentioned as possible suitors.

Harry Redknapp has subsequently suggested the striker is not for sale, but on Wednesday, Defoe strived to clarify his future by claiming he has "never said" he wants to leave Tottenham.

The England international's peripheral role at Tottenham is compromising his prospects of making Fabio Capello's 23-man squad for next summer's European Championships.

The arrival of Emmanuel Adebayor at White Hart Lane and his subsequently superb form has seen him start just seven Premier League games all season, but although Defoe acknowledges his frustration he claims he has not asked to leave Tottenham.

"At the end of the day it's not a case of me saying I want to go here, I'm not playing, I want to leave the club." The Tottenham striker told Sky Sports News. "I've been here six years, I've never said that once. I think the fans know that.

"It's just a case of me playing. I could understand if I was 19, 20 and I had time on my hands but I'm 29 now and, like I've always said, all I want to do is play football. It's as simple as that."

Tottenham travel to league leaders Manchester City on Sunday and Defoe could be afford a starting berth because Emmanuel is ineligible to face his parent club. The 29-year-old is keen to stress his unwavering commitment to the club despite having to endure a perpetual role on the bench this season.

"As it stands I'm a Tottenham player and if I do play against Manchester City I'll be fully committed. I'm sure everyone knows that at the club." Defoe concluded.

In response to reports over the weekend, Redknapp confirmed Defoe's agent had expressed the player's dissatisfaction over a lack of playing time but the Spurs manager was adamant the striker would not be leaving Tottenham.

"Daniel (Levy) spoke to his agent who said he is not happy because he wants to play and he has got a few clubs in for him," The Tottenham manager told The Guardian. "I am sure he has got a few clubs in for him but we are not selling him. He is saying this club wants him and that club wants him - that is how they make their money. He is not moving anywhere, though. He is on contract here and is a big player for us."