Roeder coy over Defoe
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Glenn Roeder is not surprised Newcastle have been linked with a move for Jermain Defoe.
Glenn Roeder is not surprised that Newcastle United have been linked with a move for Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe.
England international Defoe was put forward as a transfer target for The Magpies after Spurs agreed a deal to sign Bayer Leverkusen hot shot Dimitar Berbatov.
Defoe endured a frustrating season at White Hart Lane and spent a prolonged period playing second fiddle to Mido and Robbie Keane.
He has expressed his frustration at the situation and was linked with a switch to St James' Park in the summer.
Roeder, who worked with Defoe at West Ham, acknowledged his admiration for the forward's ability, but stopped short of confirming an interest in signing the Spurs man.
"I am not surprised that Jermain has been linked with us," Roeder told The Evening Chronicle. "I know him well and I helped him to develop as a player.
"He was with me for two seasons and was barely 18 when I first worked with him.
"He worked very hard and did very well for me and is a likeable lad who is good to work with.
"But he is one of many players linked with us and I cannot say 'yes' or 'no' about anyone at the moment.
"All I can say is that I am compiling a list of players in different departments."
Meanwhile, Roeder has warned Magpies striker Michael Chopra to take his time before making a decision on his future.
Chopra is wanted by Cardiff and Watford, but has been offered a new contract at Newcastle and Roeder wants the youngster to stay.
"I am quite happy to keep him and for him to continue working hard like he has been," added Roeder.
"Managers will know that his contract is up. But Michael has been offered a new contract at Newcastle.
"If he was to leave then we would be entitled to compensation and it would have to be good compensation because in the last five or six games for us Michael has proved he is a good player, and he has played his part in getting us into the top seven."