Defoe's Spurs return off

Image: Defoe: Left frustrated

Jermain Defoe's return to Tottenham this weekend has been shelved due to Premier League rules over loan deals.

Striker not eligible to figure at the weekend

Jermain Defoe's return to Tottenham this weekend has been shelved due to Premier League rules over loan deals becoming permanent. The Portsmouth striker has been in sparkling form since swapping North London for the South Coast in the January transfer window; with six goals from as many appearances bearing testimony to how quickly he has adapted to life at a new club. Defoe had been looking forward to returning to White Hart Lane, where he is fondly remembered, but Premier League rules stipulate he is not now eligible. Due to time restraints on transfer deadline day, Portsmouth initially signed Defoe on loan before making the deal permanent almost immediately afterwards. The rules were changed at the Premier League AGM last summer following the situation that arose last season when Tim Howard made his loan from Manchester United to Everton a permanent deal. "The rules are clear," said a Premier League spokesman. "A player who is taken on loan and then during the course of the transfer window, if that loan is made permanent, he is not allowed to play against the team who originally loaned him."


Pompey boss Harry Redknapp has voiced his dismay to Sky Sports News, brandishing the decision 'silly'. "It was news to me to be honest," he told Sky Sports News. "What happened was we took Jermain on transfer deadline day night and obviously the Benjani deal was dragging on. And that wasn't getting done, so for us to get this through on time, Peter Storrie had to do it as a loan and then convert it to a full transfer after. "By the time Benji had agreed at Man City it was in danger of over running the window. That was what the problem was. We couldn't agree it until that was done at Manchester City. "We had to do a loan deal but it got converted to a full deal almost immediately. Now they are saying because it was a loan you can't go on loan and play against the club that loaned you out. It's a load of nonsense, it's some silly rule. There's nothing we can do about it. "When was it made clear? I think it was last night. Peter rang me up and said 'we could have a problem here with Jermain'. But he thought it might be solved easily enough. "We were all looking forward to him playing at White Hart Lane. He was popular there. It's nonsense really. It's been converted to a transfer and it only happened because the Benjani deal took so long. We couldn't complete the Jermain deal without the money. It was a back-to-back deal. "Peter has been talking to people all day but it's difficult to change it at this stage. It's a blow."

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