Routledge: Dowie concedes defeat

Last updated : 19 January 2005 By Nik Taylor

Iain Dowie has all but given up on his chances of keeping Wayne Routledge at the club, but insists the tricky winger will not leave on the cheap.

Routledge has refused to consider Palace’s offer of a new contract, and several Premiership clubs are keeping a careful eye on the situation.

But with the player available for a tribunal fee in the summer any interested managers are keeping a tight hand on their chequebooks, with any potential offers guaranteed to be well below the reported £3 million deal Spurs offered last August.

Tottenham are still at the front of the queue for the 20-year-old’s signature, although Routledge is believed to favour a move to Birmingham because of his friendship with Julian Gray. Spurs are thought to have made a £1.5 million bid – but it’s a figure that doesn’t interest Dowie.

"It is not a goer," the Palace boss told the BBC. "He wants to leave the club and we have a view of what the tribunal fee would be.

"Also, we're trying to stay up and we know what he can bring to us. We've got to add all this up and it's not easy."

With the Spurs game coming up on Saturday, Routledge has the perfect platform to impress his would-be employers – and Dowie is keen to ensure the midfielder still gets the backing of the fans.

"I think the fans will give him a positive reaction," Dowie told Sky Sports News. "Maybe if they do get behind him he'll see how much he's regarded at this club.

"I don't foresee any adverse reaction to him but he's a strong character anyway."