Defoe decision down to Adams
Tony Adams insists it will come down to him whether Jermain Defoe leaves Portsmouth this January.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 02/01/09 5:39pm
Manager Tony Adams insists it will come down to him whether Jermain Defoe leaves Portsmouth during the January transfer window.
Defoe was dropped against Arsenal last weekend after missing a penalty against West Ham and has told Adams and executive chairman Peter Storrie he wants to leave the club less than 12 months after joining from Tottenham.
The 26-year-old striker missed training on Friday after phoning in sick with a virus and is set to miss Saturday's FA Cup visit of Bristol City.
News of Defoe's discontent has made him one of the most sought-after players this January, with Aston Villa, Manchester City and former club Spurs all monitoring the situation.
But Adams is adamant the unsettled England international will only leave Fratton Park if the price is right.
"Jermain is not very well and a doctor is going round his house to assess him," he said.
"Peter Storrie had a meeting with him last Wednesday, which I sat in on, and Jermain expressed a desire to leave.
"I think Peter is talking to a few clubs about him but the final decision will be mine and I have a price in mind of what I think he is worth.
"He is a superb player and a great goalscorer but I have not yet made up my mind whether or not I am going to sell him.
"I have to make a call on that, like I had to with Lassana Diarra when Real Madrid came knocking.
"If I wanted to play him against Bristol City I could because he is still a Portsmouth player but it looks as if his illness has taken that out of my hands."
Saturday's game marks the start of Pompey's FA Cup defence having beaten Cardiff in last year's final, when Adams was assistant manager to Harry Redknapp.
Adams won the competition three times as a player with Arsenal and is eager to avoid a similar upset to when the Gunners were dumped out by Wrexham in 1992.
"I have experienced everything in the FA Cup, I have been knocked out at Wrexham, I have been knocked out in every round and I have won it but in every year I have won it we were very lucky," he said.
"I have won it as a player and a coach so I would love to win as a manager but it is a very difficult competition and you have to earn the right to lift it.
"It is also a very special competition but one which can take you up and bring you down. We are the holders and we do not want to go out in the third round."
Adams has a host of injuries to contend with and defender Martin Cranie is set to make his first start for the club since August 2007 after a prosperous loan spell at Charlton.
"Because of the problems we have with injuries there will be an opportunity for other people," said Adams.
"Martin has been to Charlton for the last six months and done very well so is a player who needs an opportunity.
"Football is a squad game and I have every confidence that my squad is good enough."