Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy promised supporters in his end of the 2011-12 season address that he was not prepared to sell the team's star players regardless of what happened in the May 19 Champions League Final involving Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Now, less than 24 hours after Gareth Bale pledged his loyalty to Spurs, another of Tottenham's key players is set to officially make his exit from White Hart Lane.
Sources such as the Daily Mail and Businessweek.com are reporting that Luka Modric is prepared to hand in a transfer request, and that he will do so sometime next week. Both Manchester United and Real Madrid are reportedly interested in acquiring the wantaway midfielder, but Real Madrid are set to move quickly to complete the deal ahead of United. Earlier reports indicated that United were set to offer around £22m for Modric, while Thursday's stories claim that Real Madrid will pay a £30m transfer fee.
An ESPN story regarding the matter quoted Modric as telling Spanish paper Marca the following: "I'm going to play in the Champions League, I want to win that competition. I'm not going to be able to achieve my dream (at Spurs)." That same report claims that the extra £8m being offered by the Spanish giants may not be enough to force Levy into making any early deals, as Spurs are, according to the story, requesting £40m for Modric.
Waiting for the one right offer wouldn't be a first for Levy. Chelsea chased Modric throughout last summer, with then Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp and Levy both repeatedly telling the media that the midfielder wasn't for sale. Tottenham even turned down a £40m deadline day offer from Chelsea for Modric. Modric began the campaign poorly and, as Redknapp put it, with his head "not right." Once the transfer window closed, however, fans immediately began to see stellar consistent play from the talented midfielder.
It was reported earlier this week that Real Madrid were willing to offer Turkish international Nuri Sahin and £20m for Modric. That deal is now apparently off the table, however, after Sahin pledged his allegiance to his current club.
Modric made it very clear even before May 19 that his future home would be away from White Hart Lane if Chelsea bounced Spurs out of next season's Champions League competition. While I and all Spurs fans would obviously like to see him at Tottenham come August, that seems very unrealistic at this point. Tottenham have lost out on Champions League football and Champions League money for the second consecutive season, and turning down an offer in the £30-40m range for a player who no longer desires to be at the club would be rather foolish. With that said, you can be sure Levy will get the most he can for a player of Modric's quality.
Let the bidding begin.