Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew admits he tried to sign Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe in the summer. Defoe has struggled for playing time in the Premier League this season - with just 169 minutes under his belt - as Andre Villas-Boas has preferred £26 million Spanish international Roberto Soldado.

"There was a little bit of interest from us [in the summer], but he is a Spurs player and I think he is doing a good job there," said Pardew.

"Whenever he is called upon, he scores, so I would not be surprised if they start him on Sunday.

"I worked with Jermain at West Ham and think he is a fantastic player. When the ball comes into him, whether it is left foot, right foot, he is hugely effective.

"He's also good in the air for a fairly small fellow. He's a terrific player, but really and truly I do not think he would come to this football club."

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