Andre Villas-Boas doesn't even know where Luka Modric is right now. All the Tottenham boss is sure of is that the Croatian playmaker didn't join the Spurs traveling squad to the United States for a preseason jaunt.
"The last time I heard he was back in London," Villas-Boas offered.
AVB and Modric exchanged messages earlier in the summer. But there's no lack of clarity in communication for the former Chelsea coach.
"The situation as it stands is the player is under club discipline for not being present," Villas-Boas said. "There [are] clubs interested in him but we have to hold onto our values and our rights. At the moment the situation for Luka is that he's under club discipline."
Modric also tried to force a transfer last year, with Chelsea -- then controlled, perhaps ironically, by Villas-Boas -- the suitor. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy convinced the playmaker to remain in north London, and the 26-year-old scored four goals and tallied four assists in 36 Premier League starts last season.
"He's a player who has offered so much for Tottenham," AVB allowed. "We also have a sense of respect for what he has done for us but the chairman feels that the fact that he is not present is not common professional behavior."
The 34-year-old sees only two possible outcomes to the current knotty situation. The first is that any interested parties meet Tottenham's asking price for arguably its best player. The second is that Modric returns to the fold and resumes normal training duties.
"The chairman and myself have been very very open with this situation by saying that we are willing to listen to offers for players, which is uncommon I think," Villas-Boas said.
The Portuguese didn't know the exact amount of the fines Modric faces, claiming he left the specifics to others within the club. With Modric taking the fairly dramatic action of skipping preseason, the most likely outcome appears to be a transfer. Real Madrid – coached by Villas-Boas' past mentor, Jose Mourinho – has been linked heavily.
"It's pretty straight forward to be fair," AVB continued. "Transfer requests [are] not things that you have to give handwritten, but he has shown his willingness to depart and we have told him that we are willing to receive offers if the offers meet the value of the player."
Still, Tottenham won't compromise on its valuation of the player. Last season it rejected a reported bid of 27 million pounds from Chelsea.
"This type of player revolt is not new, but I think the clubs have to protect themselves," Villas-Boas said. "There's plenty of time in the market. I think we respect Luka's willingness and past contributions, but we want to embrace the player and we want him to feel that we are willing to help him if he's willing to help as well."
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- Luka Modric