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Pleat: We want Sol to stay

English Barclays Premiership

Director of football David Pleat has stated the club's case over Sol Campbell. In a revealing interview, Pleat underlined how much we want to keep the England international but also explained the complexities of the contract talks.

Skipper Campbell, 26, has a year left of his current deal to run. He becomes a 'Bosman' free agent at the end of the season and can start listening to offers in January. Pleat, frustrated at recent criticism of the club over the subject, was happy to explain in detail our position.

He said: "The situation with Sol Campbell is very simple as far as the club is concerned. We want to talk and want to agree a new contract as quickly as possible but we have to understand the individual's position.

"Sol is under freedom of contract and is on a Bosman. His agent knows that, he knows that. There is no conflict between us but when players are in that situation, just look at McManaman, he moved. So did Mark Bosnich. Roy Keane was in the same situation but didn't move. We have to hope that Sol Campbell doesn't move.

"We want him to stay at Tottenham and he knows that. We are willing to look after him if he is willing to be part of us. The thing is, the way the Bosman ruling is, he doesn't have to tell us. We are open to the troubles all clubs have - it's a big world out there and people do get at people. If there is any of that we have to hope that Sol is as genuine we feel he is, he can resist all that and we can get talking about a deal.

"Every individual has to look at his career and he is in a position of Bosman. It is one word and the only word we need to talk about. A lot of the media have mentioned a lot of things and tried to apportion blame for him not signing.

"The reason he hasn't signed so far and we haven't got down to talking is because it is difficult to talk terms if the player knows he may have other opportunities he feels he owes himself the right to explore. Under the rules, he is doing nothing wrong.

"I think Sol has been misquoted at times and certain stuff from the past has been regurgitated. There was a line that is rather infuriating that accused the club of lacking ambition. That's a line that keeps recurring and it's a bit unfair when you think that few clubs have spent more money than us in the past few months.

"Certainly the two internationals Sullivan and Rebrov and Ben Thatcher all arriving shows ambition and we are looking to add to the squad. There is no lack of ambition. If players become surplus to George Graham's requirements we will look to move them on."

Pleat chose not to talk about exactly what we would offer Campbell in terms of wages, but added: "It doesn't take a genius to understand that if he continues to play in the England team and do well for Tottenham then we will make him an excellent offer. It is very difficult to know a person's value to the team but no-one has a higher value than him. He has the same type of impact in a different type of way that Roy Keane has at Manchester United. Anyway, we can't do anything about it. It's like horse - you can take him to the well but you can't make him drink. That's where we are but Sol's our thoroughbred."