Luka Modric Wants Away from Tottenham


As Andre Villas-Boas has commentated that there have been no further bids for Luka Modric, this saga seems set to continue for some considerable time. The player wants to leave Tottenham for a club which will provide him with Champions League football but Spurs are determined to keep him until they receive a suitable offer.

Tottenham’ Luka Modric Saga (Year 1)
Last summer, a battle raged between Tottenham’s chairman, Daniel Levy, and Luka Modric, the Croatian midfielder. Mordric had decided that he wanted to join Chelsea under their then new manager, Andre Villas-Boas. Levy was equally determined that the midfield player was going nowhere as he had signed a contract the previous year. At times, the comments between them were heated but the Spurs Chairman was not for moving on this. The Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, had suggested that if the player was wanting to go then it might be better to accept the money in order to bring in three new players who could improve the team. Preseason training commenced and Modric returned to the squad with some of them expressed an understanding and sympathy for his position. Spurs weren’t in the Champions League and players are always wanting to test themselves against the best, so the argument goes. On their pre-season tour to South Africa Modric was named as captain for some of the games but when competitive matches commenced Luka was absent. He didn’t play against Hearts in the Europa League when Spurs played a full strength side or in their opening Premier League match at Old Trafford. He started against Manchester City and played for an hour as Spurs lost 1 – 5 but had little impact on the match. With a few days to go there was speculation that a late deal would be struck which would take the unhappy ‘star’ away from White Hart Lane and across London to Stamford Bridge. On the final day for transfers Spurs rejected an increased bid of £40 million from Chelsea.

Daniel Levy had been true to his word and had held firm so in September, when Premier League football resumed, Modric with new signing Scott Parker in central midfield, orchestrated Spurs’ first win of the season. The player was going to have to accept the club’ decision and make the most of it by playing and fulfilling his contract. Spurs season improved and Modric was an important part of that success.

Modric at Tottenham

Luka Modric had agreed to sign for Tottenham in April, 2008 as Spurs looked forward to life under Juande Ramos. It was unusual for Tottenham to complete a signing so early in the summer and some questioned whether the slightly built Modric would be able to cope with the rigours of football in the Premier League. He cost Spurs a record £16.5 million when signed from Dinamo Zagreb. At first, it was difficult at Spurs as the team struggled, taking only two points from eight games. The arrival of Redknapp was a blessing for Modric as his form improved and he made a significant contribution to Spurs’ recovery, including the match winning goal against Chelsea in March. The following season Modric was out for four months after breaking his leg against Birmingham City in August. He returned in December as Tottenham went on to finish fourth and claim their Champions League place. For the next two seasons, Modric was a vital member of Harry Redknapp’s midfield making 68 Premier League appearances in that time. He also appeared in another fifteen Cup and European matches, making him one of Tottenham’s most used players in that period. One criticism which is often laid against him, is that he doesn’t score enough goals. He has 17 goals in all competitions from 159 appearances and has been credited with 26 assists. When he does score, the goals tend to be spectacular in nature – like the winner against Chelsea or his last goal against Bolton late last season. One amazing statistic from last season showed that he created 92 goal scoring opportunities but only 6 were converted into goals – that clearly says something about the Tottenham strike force.

Luka Modric Saga (Year 2)

As last season ended with Tottenham missing out on Champions League football, Modric went off to represent Croatia at the Euro 2012 tournament with the rather ominous announcement that no decision would be made about his future until after the championships. As at all major tournaments, transfer rumours are rife and his fellow countrymen fuelled the flames with their comments and views that Luka would be such a success in Spain and was a perfect match for Real Madrid. During periods of the season with Tottenham, Modric had been less influential than usual but for Croatia he was back to his best, dictating the team’s play.

It was clear that whereas last summer, Modric was set on Chelsea, this year he was wanting a transfer to Real Madrid. There was talk of negotiations between the clubs and of interest from other parties, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, but to date no-one has offered a figure which Tottenham deems to be appropriate.

Modric increased the pressure by failing to attend for pre-season training and by refusing to travel on the club’s tour to America. Tottenham immediately fined Modric and warned him that he would not force the club into selling him on the cheap to Real Madrid who are not inclined to pay the £38 million fee that Spurs are prepared to accept. There was widespread criticism of Modric’s actions from within football and Modric has since apologised for going on strike. Modric’s fellow Croatian Nico Kranjcar, however, stepped into the issue with strong criticism of Daniel Levy. Andre Villas-Boas was critical of the player saying,

"“Last year Luka behaved professionally. Unfortunately this is the first time he has taken these actions and it is not common professional behaviour. Either the clubs meet our demands regarding his value or the player must continue with his club duties.”"

It has been clear for some time that Spurs have accepted that Modric will leave but they are anxious to protect the club’s position – they need to secure a fee which will enable them to strengthen the team and also they need to be able to acquire a player who can fulfill Modric’s role in the team. Earlier in the summer it had appeared as if Spurs were going to sign Joao Moutinho from Porto which could have hastened Modric’s departure. Discussions on that have since stalled with Porto increasing their demands.

Daniel Levy took a stand last summer and while I believe he is prepared to sell Modric this year – he is quite right to ensure that Spurs receive an appropriate fee as the 26 year old player still has four years to run on a contract he signed in 2010.

Will Modric go to Real Madrid and if not will he play for Spurs or go on strike to force the issue?