Deschamps: Taiwo not for sale

Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of signing Nigerian full-back Taye Taiwo have suffered a blow after Marseille coach Didier Deschamps insisted he had no intention of selling the stopper.

The 25-year-old left-back has made more than 160 league appearances for the reigning Ligue 1 champions - scoring 13 times - since joining from Lobi Stars in his homeland in 2004.

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However, Taiwo found first-team opportunities at the Stade Velodrome harder to come by last season following the arrival of Argentina international Gabriel Heinze, leading the Nigerian to reveal that he would consider a move away.

Both Spurs and Atletico Madrid are reportedly keen to recruit him ahead of the 2010/11 campaign, with Taiwo admitting that a move to either would appeal to him.

"If I stay in Marseille I want to play week in week out. I am a football player not someone to sit on the bench and get paid," he said.

"My ambition has always been to play at the top level. Spurs are a fantastic team in the best league. Atletico Madrid is a very good team as well in the Champions League, so I would be interested by those two teams."

However, former French captain Deschamps has since insisted that he has no plans to allow Taiwo to leave for either White Hart Lane or the Vicente Calderon.

"He is under contract for another year," he told La Provence. "We have an interest in prolonging it so that he is not free in 2011.

"I need him, especially as a replacement would cost me more money. I count on him."

Cameroon international Benoit Assou-Ekotto is currently Spurs' first-choice left-back ahead of Gareth Bale, who excelled for Tottenham towards the end of last season in a more advanced role, scoring against Arsenal and Chelsea to keep the club on course to seal fourth place.

Manager Harry Redknapp is on the lookout for new recruits to bolster his squad ahead of Spurs' debut appearance in the Champions League.

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