Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp admits he would keep Jermain Defoe at Portsmouth if he was still in charge at Fratton Park, as the two clubs continue to negotiate over the England striker.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie have been in talks over the 26-year-old, who wants a move back to White Hart Lane after leaving just over a year ago.
"The chairman and Peter Storrie are trying to do a deal," said Redknapp. "It's their choice to say he is not for sale. I wouldn't have sold him if I was manager at Portsmouth and Tottenham came back in, I'd be keeping him."
He added: "Unless they do a deal, we'll move on. If they want to do a deal they will."
Redknapp's reaction formed part of his defence when asked if he has unsettled players at other teams.
Another Redknapp target who wants to leave his current club is winger Stewart Downing, who has submitted a transfer request to Middlesbrough.
"It's the same (with Stewart Downing), I wouldn't sell him if I didn't want to," Redknapp said.
"If they want to leave, they have their reasons. If Defoe has got reasons why he wants to come back to Tottenham, fine."
Boro labelled Levy's initial offer as "derisory", but Redknapp added: "The chairman has made a big offer but Middlesbrough are a good club with a great chairman and if he doesn't want to sell him, it's his right to do that."
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