Jermain Defoe's future appears to lie away from Portsmouth after he admitted that he would like to rejoin Harry Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur after being subjected to death threats.
The 26-year-old England striker has revealed that he has received threats from fans angered by the prospect of him leaving the club, saying: ''Some of the calls have made me sick to my stomach.''
Although Manchester City are thought to be interested in Defoe and that a £20-million transfer to Serie A giants Juventus could be an option, the player himself favours a return to White Hart Lane.
''If Portsmouth can agree an acceptable deal with Tottenham I would like the opportunity to talk to them,'' Defoe told the Sunday Mirror.
"I've enjoyed my time immensely here, but I can't deny that Harry Redknapp's departure as manager hit me hard particularly because he was the primary reason why I joined Portsmouth in the first place and said so at the time."
The abuse Defoe has been subjected to is reminiscent of the threats Redknapp received upon leaving Pompey and joining rivals Southampton in 2004.
Defoe said: ''I have absolutely no idea how they got hold of my number but some of the calls have made me sick to my stomach.''
''I have reported it to officials at the club, but cannot accept that it is coming from people with a balanced state of mind. It has infuriated and upset my family and left me wondering what on earth possesses people to do things like that.''
Before news of threats emerged Portsmouth manager Tony Adams insisted that he had not given up on keeping Defoe at Fratton Park.
The striker missed Saturday's grim goalless draw with Bristol City in the FA Cup with a bout of flu - an illness which conveniently prevented him becoming cup-tied should he move back to White Hart Lane where Tottenham are already through to the fourth round after Friday's win over Wigan Athletic.
Insiders at Pompey are now convinced Defoe will join Lassana Diarra, who has been sold to Real Madrid for a fee of around £20million, as another star departure during the January transfer window.
But Pompey are adamant the England ace will not leave cheaply. Executive chairman Peter Storrie says the lucrative fee received for Diarra means the cash-strapped FA Cup holders do not immediately need to sell any more players.
And Adams said: ''Jermain is still a Portsmouth player and maybe I'll make a point of talking to him on Monday when he returns to training because people often change their minds, don't they.
''It happened here with Joe Jordan (former first-team coach) after Harry left. All the time Joe was going to stay. Then suddenly he went to Spurs, bless him.
''I'm not going to confirm any bids through the press. All I'm saying is I'm hopeful Jermain will be available for next week's game here against Manchester City and then we'll see about the replay at Bristol.''