Roman Pavlyuchenko is holding out on signing his new contract at Tottenham, not because he wants more money or because he is trying to orchestrate a move to a different club, but for reasons that are purely to do with football. Pavlyuchenko wants to know where he stands in manager Harry Redknapp’s plans before he commits to signing a new contract.
There seems to be no question as to where the Russian’s allegiances lie: “I definitely want to stay here. But, nevertheless, before I actually sign a new contract I need to consider the situation. Sitting on the bench, even at a club as strong has Tottenham have become, is not good.”, and from a personal point of view there is no reason why Pavlyuchenko would want to leave; his family is settled and he has patiently worked his way back into a team that he seemed destined to leave 12 months ago. But with Tottenham being strongly linked with a move for another striker, Pavlyuchenko could once again find himself out of Harry Redknapp’s first team plans.
According to Pavlyuchenko’s agent, Oleg Artemov, Tottenham are reluctant to sell the Russian targetman and would rather offload Robbie Keane and Peter Crouch to make room for a new signing. Artemov said: “Three months ago, Levy suggested Roman sign a new contract on improved terms. We are in negotiations and discussing the details. Keane will most likely be sold and maybe Crouch.”.
But with any new signing likely to be a partner for Jermain Defoe, I don’t see how Redknapp can assure ‘Super Pav’ that he won’t be spending more time on the bench. Despite recording reasonable stats this season, eight goals in 19 appearances, does Pavlyuchenko really deserve a run in the team? Crouch’s link up play with Van der Vaart has proved crucial so far this season and when fit, Jermain Defoe is very unlikely to be left out of the team.
So is it inevitable that Pavlyuchenko and Tottenham will end up parting ways? I think that the answer lies simply on whether or not Redknapp is able to sign anyone better. If Spurs fans get their wish and a new marquee signing arrives in the transfer window then Pavlyuchenko could end up being squeezed out of first team plans. I think that as it stands Spurs fans are split on who they regard as the better striker, Crouch or Pavlyuchenko, but as a Redknapp signing I would wager that Crouch would be more likely to be kept when a new player arrives.