Sunday March 26, 2006
Tottenham blast Liverpool manager Benitez over Defoe claim
LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur reacted angrily on Friday to Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez’s claim they were “desperate” to sell England striker Jermain Defoe.
“I find today’s reported comments by Rafael Benitez beyond belief,” Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement on the Premier League club’s website.
“Not only are they completely untrue, but it is unprecedented that any manager should comment in this way on another team’s player. It could in fact be interpreted as a direct and blatant attempt to unsettle Jermain.
“We have not had a single conversation on this point with Liverpool or any other club so I fail to see how he can make this statement.”
Spaniard Benitez was asked at a news conference earlier on Friday about reports linking Liverpool’s France striker Djibril Cisse with a move to Tottenham.
The Liverpool manager said: “They are desperate to sell Defoe. They are trying to sell the player. They try to use Cisse in the middle. I don’t know why, it is not our problem. They always talk about him (Cisse) and Defoe. I have said before they are desperate to sell Defoe and try to do something.”
Levy repeated Spurs manager Martin Jol’s comments on Thursday that there was no truth in reports the north London club were interested in signing Cisse at the end of this season.
“We have absolutely no intention of making an offer for Cisse. On all these issues, I resent having to put the record straight when it should never have been put into question.
“I should expect that Benitez on reflection, withdraws his wholly inappropriate, unprofessional and inaccurate comments. They do him no credit.” – Reuters