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Thursday, January 31, 2008
ESPNsoccernet: February 2, 11:35 AM UK
Pompey sign striker Defoe on long term deal

Jermain Defoe has agreed a move from Tottenham to Portsmouth in a bid for regular first-team football and a way into Fabio Capello's England plans.

Reports suggest that Defoe has signed a long-term deal at Fratton Park, for an undisclosed fee.

Defoe has only started three Barclays Premier League games this season and has accepted Harry Redknapp's offer of leading the attack at Fratton Park.

Paperwork for the deal was completed during the last hour of transfer-deadline day and Defoe was already talking about his future at Fratton Park.

'I can't wait to be honest,' said the 25-year-old striker.

'I just want to get my boots on. I'm happy.

'At the end of the day I haven't been playing football. Hopefully I can play football here and get myself back in there.'

Capello did not include Defoe in his first England squad.

'When you are not playing football you can't expect to get in the England squad,' said Defoe.

'I totally understand. I just want to play football and score some goals.

'I want to score as many goals as possible this season and do well for Portsmouth.'

Redknapp added on Sky Sports News: 'He will be a great signing for us. He wants to play and he needs to play.'

Defoe is set to get the chance to prove himself on a regular basis.

Former Spurs boss Martin Jol argued that Defoe was statistically given the same opportunities as his other strikers, although he preferred Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov for important matches.

While his future as a regular looked uncertain, a contract extension beyond 2009 remained unsigned and alerted Premier League teams about his possible availability.

'He's too good not to play,' added Redknapp.

'He's a fantastic goalscorer, a top player. It will be great to have him here.

'A couple of his mates are here - he's close to Glen Johnson and David James.

'We just keep moving forward as a football club, bringing in better players and moving forward.'

Despite his limited opportunities under Jol and new head coach Juande Ramos, Defoe has eight goals this season, including three in as many matches during the Christmas period.




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