Sport Soccer

Thursday 14 December 2017

Modric exit could make us stronger -- Redknapp

Jason Burt

Selling Luka Modric might lead to Tottenham having a stronger team, manager Harry Redknapp suggested yesterday.

While insisting that he wanted Modric to stay -- and that the club's emphatic stance on refusing to entertain any bid from Chelsea had not changed -- Redknapp admitted: "If he is going to go, you want him to go because you can then get three or four players in.

"There are your options -- you either sell him, get the money and bring four players in and have a better team, probably, in all honesty; or you keep Luka, who is a fantastic player."

Modric has made it clear on several occasions in recent weeks that he wants to leave White Hart Lane and join Chelsea.

Interestingly, he will not feature in the first leg of Spurs' Europa League play-off against Hearts at Tynecastle tonight.

Redknapp claimed the midfielder was suffering from a groin injury, which was "not too bad" -- although, crucially, if Modric does play in the tie, he would be ineligible for this season's Champions League should he switch clubs.

Redknapp admitted that he has sympathy with the player.

"It's difficult," he said. "What would you do if someone offered to treble your wages? It's hard. It's not easy for him. I think people understand.

"We all love our club and he's got to play for Tottenham and all that, but when someone comes along and offers to treble your wages and play for a team in the Champions League, who could win the Champions League, it's not easy. He's had his head turned."

Nevertheless Redknapp warned that if Chelsea did want to do a deal -- having had bids of £22m and £27m rejected by Tottenham -- they cannot wait until the final day of the transfer window.

"The chairman (Daniel Levy) won't do that. They (Tottenham) did that with (Dimitar) Berbatov (in his transfer to Manchester United) and ended up with no strikers, so the chairman won't do that again. No chance.

"We want to keep him (Modric) and bring two or three others in, and it's looking like we might bring in a couple of players in the next few days."

One of those players looks set to be Emmanuel Adebayor, whom Redknapp hopes to sign on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy.

Manchester City, who want £15m for the striker, have played down suggestions that a deal is close, but Tottenham sources are confident that, if the club agrees to pay a sizeable loan fee, they can work out an agreement in which City will effectively subsidise a large chunk of Adebayor's £160,000-a-week wages.

The departure of Robbie Keane to LA Galaxy has given Tottenham some leeway. Keane was Tottenham's highest earner on £65,000-a-week and had an agreement whereby he received a pay rise should a higher wage be offered to another player.

Redknapp appeared cautiously optimistic that they would sign Adebayor.

"The chairman is talking to Man City about the player but where they (the negotiations) are at, I don't know. We will wait and see.


"If he comes here and his head is on and he wants to play then he could be fantastic," Redknapp said.

"I think it probably would be a loan deal anyway and with that you can't go wrong, can you? He was fantastic against us last season in Madrid (for the Champions League quarter-final against Real).

"We couldn't handle him and if he is at it and he comes here then he could be sensational."

Having signed William Gallas last summer, Redknapp said he was not concerned about the reaction of the Tottenham supporters should he secure another former Arsenal player.

"He (Adebayor) fell out with Arsenal," he said. "Arsenal fans hate him, so the Tottenham fans will love him."

A third former Arsenal player also being pursued by Tottenham is Lassana Diarra, although it's understood that his wages -- €5m a year after tax (about £4.2m) -- at Real make it highly unlikely that they will secure the deal.

Redknapp is also interested in Scott Parker but said that West Ham have made the deal unlikely by continuing to demand £7 to £8m. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Hearts v Tottenham,

Live, Setanta Ireland/ITV4, 7.45

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