Luka Modric is like yeast to Tottenham Hotspur, without him they would surely be unable to continue their rise up the Premier League table. His supreme technique and composure on the ball has seen him develop into an integral part of Redknapp’s midfield, where he effectively operates ahead of the tenacious Scott Parker and behind the marauding van der Vaart.
However, all is not well at the Lane with Modric reportedly seeking pastures new. The much publicised transfer saga with Chelsea has fractured relations with Daniel Levy as the Croatian claims his chairman broke a ‘gentleman’s agreement’, which involved entertaining any offers from a bigger club. It was apparently only an intervention from Redknapp that prevented the midfielder from going on strike and his inspired performances this season are a credit to his manager’s man-management skills. Modric remains idolised by the legions of Spurs fans but he could once again place that in jeopardy should he try and engineer another move away.
The ongoing turmoil at Chelsea perhaps suggests that Modric should be thankful to Levy for blocking his potential move. The constant exclusion of Frank Lampard would imply Andre Villas-Boas favours defensive minded midfielders in a team that dictates patient build-up play. A stark contrast to Harry’s energetic, high tempo style of play.
The latest reports in the tabloids indicate that Modric has started to flirt provocatively in the direction of Sir Alex Ferguson. There’s no question that he would flourish in United’s midfield in amongst the likes of Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney. He would certainly represent a better long-term signing than Wesley Sneijder but his £40m plus price tag is enough to deter most suitors.
Herein lies the issue, should Modric be looking to force a move in a climate that would suggest big money moves are on the decline? Especially with the introduction of the new Financial Fair Play regulations.
Former Spurs forward Robbie Keane insists Modric should remain in North London as Chelsea no longer represents a step up on the career ladder;
“I’m looking at Chelsea trying to get Luka – it’s going to be very difficult now to convince him to go there because it’s looking like Spurs have overtaken them.”
However former Spurs midfielder Steven Pienaar offers a different insight, claiming that once a player has his mind set on a move then it’s almost impossilbe to discourage him, and any attempt to do so can have a detrimental effect.
“Tottenham will want to keep him at the club, but it is difficult when a player like him wants to move on. I understand from my own experience that if a good opportunity is blocked by your club, it can be hard to concentrate.”
Should Modric look for an escape route beyond the British coastline then it’s difficult to unearth many options. Both the Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid have established and relatively crowded midfields, who would struggle to find room even for a player of his calibre. In my humble opinion no team in Italy looks like realistically challenging for the Champions League just yet but perhaps Bayern Munich or PSG would have the financial clout along with the reputation to match his aspirations.
The sales of Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas and even Gareth Barry all mirror the current situation between Modric and Spurs, each one enduring contrasting consequences by prolonging their exit. United continued to be successful with the often dejected Ronaldo but Villa ended up receiving a reduced transfer fee from Manchester City after a difficult season, and according to Jack Wilshere, Fabregas was influential in his development as a player.The one common denominator is that they’ve all struggled to replace their departing talisman and so should Harry decide to let Modric go, it’s vital that there is a replacement waiting in the wings.
The future of Luka Modric appears to align with Harry Redknapp’s next career move. The pint-sized playmaker has often spoken of his admiration towards his manager and is said to be waiting patiently for the conclusion regarding the England job. Should Harry depart then it’s essential that Levy replace him with a candidate of world-class stature, who will signal the intent of the club whilst serving to quash any murmurs of discontent from within the squad.
One point remains abundantly clear: Unless his performances drop, Spurs simply cannot afford to lose their creative Croatian.
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