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Chelsea return for new battle on Modric

CHELSEA have informally inquired about Luka Modric but are yet to make a new bid for the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder.

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy remains determined not to sell the Croatian to another Premier League club but it is believed Real Madrid's interest has cooled in recent days.

Matters are complicated because Modric is threatening to hand in a transfer request while Spurs maintain that they value the 26- year-old, who is also wanted by Manchester United, at £50million.

Spurs have secured Gareth Bale on a new four-year deal and are preparing the way for the appointment of a new manager, probably next week, with coaches Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond leaving the club yesterday.

Andre Villas-Boas has been in advanced negotiations with Spurs for the past few days.

If appointed, he is expected to bring in Portuguese assistants José Mario Rocha, a fitness coach, and Daniel Sousa, the head opposition scout, who left Chelsea with him in March.

However, he will also appoint an assistant manager and a coach, while an enhanced role is being considered for Tim Sherwood, the club's technical coordinator.

Levy is still considering whether to appoint a director of football, elevate Sherwood into that role or delay matters while he settles on the club's management team, squad and move to the new training ground.

Spurs are still braced for Modric to leave this summer but only if the price is right.

They rejected three offers from Chelsea last summer - including one of £40m close to transfer deadline day.

Roman Abramovich is understood to have made a promise to Modric that he would return for him this year.


Real Madrid made an inquiry earlier this summer and recently indicated they would like to offer cash plus Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin, but that interest has lessened in recent days. Sahin has also said he does not want to be a makeweight.

One of Modric's former Croatia team-mates, striker Mladen Petric, will be joining him in London after signing a one-year contract with Fulham.

The 31-year-old, who missed out on a place in his country's Euro 2012 squad, made 98 appearances for Hamburg in four years at the club.

"I like the Premier League and it has always been one of my wishes to come here," Petric said.

"I played with Hamburg against the club two years ago in the Europa League. It was nice to play at Craven Cottage with a fantastic crowd."