It’s promised to be one of the longest, arduous and quite frankly dull transfer saga’s of the summer, but Tottenham appear to have drawn a line in the sand regarding the sale of prized asset Luka Modric to Real Madrid. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped one of the world’s most media-hungry manager trying to get in on the act with his two pence’s worth, with Harry Redknapp stating that a deal is all but done between the two parties – it begs the question, should he really be divulging such secret information?
Redknapp lost his job at the end of last season for finishing fourth in a three-horse race. The goalposts weren’t moved, Champions League qualification wasn’t achieved and it seemed the right move as his lack of squad rotation ultimately cost Tottenham down the home straight as Chelsea clinched the Champions League, dumping them right back into the Europa League.
The result is that Redknapp was sacked by Levy, with a fractious relationship being played out in public, with the nadir coming during England’s Euro 2012 run. The fact of the matter is that Redknapp thought he had the England job in the bag, he openly flirted with the FA, and when they went for Hodgson instead, his demands of £3m per year fell to roughly £1m per year as they haggled over the length of any new deal.
It was always destined to be a marriage of convenience, and Redknapp by and large did well at the club, but the feeling persists that he feels a certain sense of injustice at the way he was treated and dismissed and it’s directly led to these latest ‘in the know’ Modric quotes from everybody’s favourite rent-a-quote.
Redknapp stated: “I would not be sure Luka would start the season at Tottenham. The club would be happy to sell if they get the right money. The chairman (Daniel Levy) said to him last year ‘Give us one more season and if Real come in, I won’t stand in your way’.”
It seems odd as Real Madrid weren’t even in for Modric last summer, not that anybody knows of, after they signed Nuri Sahin, Fabio Coentrao and Hamit Altintop instead, with Chelsea the main club after his signature, bidding as much as £40m for the Croatian playmaker at one stage, which Levy rejected out of hand as a matter of principle. Tottenham would be lucky to get that much this summer, but Levy is an extremely tough negotiator, and he’ll drive a hard bargain – if Real Madrid really want the player, they’ll have to pay around £35m for him.
Redknapp always seemed open to the idea last summer of selling Modric, stating back in August: “They are your options. You either sell him, get the money and bring four players in and have a better team, probably, in all honesty. Or you keep Luka, who’s a fantastic player. It’s difficult. What would you do if someone offered to treble your wages? It’s hard. It’s not easy for him. I think people understand. We all love our club and he’s got to play for Tottenham, but when someone comes along and offers to treble your wages and play for a team in the Champions League, who could win the Champions League, it’s not easy. He’s had his head turned.”
Yet just prior to that statement, he offered this, when the deal was still around the £30m mark: “If we were looking to sell him, it (£30m) wouldn’t meet my valuation. I think he is worth an awful lot more money than that. Really, we’re not looking to sell Luka. We need to keep our best players, so he is a player that we want to keep if possible. We’re quite determined, if we can, to hang on to him but it is a difficult situation. It’s a difficult one for Luka and it’s a difficult one for Tottenham.”
It’s like nailing jelly to a wall, it really is. The sheer volume of contradictions that Redknapp is guilty of over the past few years is off the scale when comparing him to other top flight managers. Every manager tries to mislead the press from time to time regarding signings, with Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger among the best at this, but Redknapp isn’t even Tottenham manager anymore, so why exactly is he still talking about their players?
Stating that Modric is likely to leave is hardly breaking any new ground, but the final throwaway line regarding the situation is rank incompetence and extremely unprofessional. You have to take whatever Redknapp says with a pinch of salt, he loves the sound of his own voice, but divulging information of private meetings from his time as Tottenham boss looks like little more than an attempt to get back at Daniel Levy and it has the potential to force the club on the back foot in negotiations with Real Madrid. He may not be a tactics-driven manager, but there’s one thing that Redknapp is something of an expert with, which is his relations with the media and the timing of his statements.
Modric will likely leave the club this summer, with his destination all but certain to be Real Madrid, there’s nothing wrong with commenting on that, it’s out there for all the public to see, but it’s when Redknapp begins to broadcast previously unheard of tit-bits of information such as any supposed verbal agreement between the club and Modric about Real Madrid’s long-standing interest in the player that he seriously oversteps the mark.
If Redknapp is running out of newspaper column material already now that he’s unemployed, perhaps he should think about finding a new job as opposed to disclosing such matters and airing his dirty linen in public. Dining out in such a showy fashion only threatens to leave a sour taste in the fan’s mouths and he’d be best served keeping any Tottenham-related talk off the agenda while things are still up in the air and his obvious wounds are so raw, otherwise he merely comes off as being a tad on the bitter side in an attempt to try and appear relevant – disclosing intimate details of any proposed agreement is not only ill-advised, it’s outright negligent and it has to stop.
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