Jermain Defoe reveals Juventus wanted him before Tottenham return
Bournemouth striker says it is "awkward" when a player is linked with a transfer
Last Updated: 26/06/18 5:34pm
Jermain Defoe has revealed he would not have been afraid to move to Serie A when Juventus were interested in signing him in 2009.
The Bournemouth striker, then at Portsmouth, would eventually leave Fratton Park to return for a second spell at Tottenham, but not before the Italian giants had expressed their intent to sign him.
In an exclusive interview for Sky Sports News' Transfer Talk podcast, Defoe said: "When I left Tottenham and went to Portsmouth with Harry (Redknapp), I was there for a season and then Harry got the Tottenham job.
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"It was weird because I just knew it was going happen. It made sense because of the relationship I had with the club and the fans.
"There was speculation and at one point I thought: 'Yeah, this is going to happen'. Both clubs were speaking. As a player you just want the two clubs to get on with it. I wanted permission to speak to Tottenham.
"I remember being at home and sitting there for a few days and just waiting for the deal to get done. I knew it was close.
"Then, I got a phone call from someone to say that Juventus were interested. Obviously, I wanted to go back to Tottenham but I thought maybe the Tottenham one was not going to happen.
"Nothing really scares me. It is just another massive club, you go there, you play and you score goals. It is as simple as that.
"When the Tottenham one got done it was a relief. Some places just feel like home. It was the perfect move for me."
"It is awkward. You can be in the canteen and something will come up. The lads will just give you banter. You come in the next day and they say: 'Oh, are you still here?'"
Jermain Defoe on being linked with a transfer move
Defoe is no stranger to the thrills of transfer season, having made seven permanent transfers and three loan moves during his 19-year career, but the 35-year-old admits the rumours and gossip about a player's future can be "awkward".
"I have had that before when you have been linked with a club and you are actually at the training ground and it [Sky Sports News] is on in the background," he said.
"It is awkward. You can be in the canteen and something will come up.
"The lads will just give you banter. You come in the next day and they say: 'Oh, are you still here?'
"As a player if you are linked with another club, until you leave and the fees are agreed and you are given permission to talk to the other club, you have to remain professional.
"You see it on the tele and you sort of laugh it off, but it is exciting."