England International Jermain Defoe will not be allowed to return to former club Tottenham Hotspur should he wish to leave Portsmouth in the January transfer window to be reunited with former Pompey boss Harry Redknapp, with Premier League rules forbidding a player to rejoin a former club within 12 months.
26-year-old Defoe, who has also played under Redknapp at West Ham United, joined the South coast side on loan from White Hart Lane on the last day of the transfer window in January this year. With Defoe, agreeing a permanent deal after scoring in his first five matches for Pompey soon after.
Redknapp has already stated an interest in Defoe since leaving Fratton Park for Tottenham, but any move by Spurs would fall foul of Premier League rule L19, which prevents a player rejoining a club within a year.
A Premier League spokesman said: “It is written in section L19 of the Premier League rules that a club which transfers or cancels the registration of a player may not apply to register that player within a year.
“The only exception to that is if it has been made with the prior written consent of the Premier League board.”
The rule was originally brought in to stop clubs abusing the loan system, with the number of loan players limited, clubs would sell a player then buy them back at a later date, which essentially worked as a loan.
Former England International Chris Powell is one exception to this rule, when the Premier League ruled he could rejoin Charlton six months after leaving the Addicks for West Ham, but this was allowed due to Powell being a free agent without a club or contract.