Saturday 3 December 2016

Modric lets rip over 'threats' from Levy

Jeremy Wilson

Published 11/07/2011 | 05:00

Luka Modric has launched an extraordinary attack on Daniel Levy, accusing the Tottenham chairman of threatening him with reserve team football and giving a "twisted" public account of their showdown meeting.

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In a remarkably blunt interview, Modric also made it clear that he still wanted to join Chelsea and claimed that Levy had made a gentlemen's agreement with him to consider offers from bigger clubs.

Levy disputes this account and insists that there was never any agreement in relation to other clubs. Modric signed a contract extension last year that committed him to Tottenham until 2016 but could potentially now treble his wages at Chelsea, who have already had one £22m bid turned down.

On his return from holiday last Wednesday, Modric immediately met Levy at White Hart Lane. "A lot has been published in the press about the meeting with Levy, who gave the public a twisted account of what happened," said Modric.

"I must say that I am genuinely disappointed about what Levy said to me. He didn't care about what I was telling him. It all only convinced me further that I was right to consider moving on to another club.

"I reminded the chairman of our gentlemen's agreement when we were in Dubrovnik last summer and I agreed a contract extension with Tottenham. Then I had an open chat with Levy -- that if a bigger club came in with a concrete offer, we would consider it and agree the best solution for all concerned.

"The chairman said, 'okay, we'll sit and talk.' Now Levy doesn't want to talk to me and said there is no possibility that I can leave Spurs. He threatened me -- he said if I didn't accept the club's stance, they would make me sit on the bench or in the stands."

Levy emerged from the talks on Wednesday outwardly confident that Modric would accept the situation and now settle into pre-season training with Tottenham.

He stressed to Modric that it was about the team and not just one individual. Levy also reiterated that Modric was not for sale at any price.

Despite claiming in April that the Tottenham team would stay together regardless of Champions League qualification, Modric has clearly set his heart on a move to Chelsea under new manager Andre Villas-Boas. At his unveiling last month, Villas-Boas described Modric as an "interesting" player.

There has been no increased bid from Chelsea, but they are certain to take encouragement from Modric's comments. Their need for a midfielder has intensified after Michael Essien suffered what is feared to be a serious knee injury during training last week.

"There is no doubt that Chelsea want me -- they sent a concrete offer to Tottenham," said Modric.

"I know that the new Chelsea boss said he wants me in his team. Of course I am flattered by this interest in me, it's a club that all players dream of joining, fighting for every competition available.

Option

"I talked a long time with my family and people whose opinions I respect. I thought about it, weighed it all up, and finally decided this was the best option."

Modric also told Croatian newspaper 'Sportske Novosti' that he had not considered the possibility of Tottenham not allowing him to leave.

"I haven't thought about it at all because [not letting me go] would definitely not be good for anyone," he said.

"I have already told the chairman that last summer he said we would find a mutually satisfactory agreement if a club like Chelsea came in.

"I hope that eventually he will understand the situation and that we will reach an agreement and go our separate ways in an appropriate manner."

Irish Independent

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