Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, has reiterated that Luka Modric is not for sale after the 25-year-old lodged a formal transfer request following Chelsea’s improved bid of £27m.
“We know he wants to leave and whether he writes it down on a piece of paper doesn’t really make any difference to our stance,” Redknapp said. “He’s a great player and we don’t want to lose him.”
The playmaker is now in South Africa with his Tottenham team-mates for their pre-season tour. He agreed to travel due to his respect for Redknapp, who has repeatedly praised Modric’s attitude and who has also stated he understood why the player was keen to join Chelsea.
Modric has described Chelsea as his “dream” club, saying the move is attractive as he will be able to perform again in the Champions League next season and challenge regularly for trophies.
At the weekend Modric openly criticised the Spurs chairman Daniel Levy in an interview with a Croatian newspaper and accused him of breaking a gentleman’s agreement to sell him to a bigger club this summer.
Tottenham have denied making any such agreement and have been considering whether to fine Modric for his remarks.