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|SoccerAnchor EPL Transfer Special: Where will Tottenham's Luka Modric end up?|
SoccerAnchor have already taken a look at what the respective clubs need on the transfer market, but where could some of the big-name players end up by August? SoccerAnchor's William Sheehan explores the future of Tottenham's Luka Modric..
Tottenham’s Luka Modric is a player that needs little introduction for most, an established star the stocks of the Croatian international only continued to rise this season.
A pass master, Spurs 2010/11 Player of the Season is a rare player in modern football, a complete midfielder. Modric has a full arsenal at his disposal (no pun intended), passing, trickery, scoring and putting in his defensive shift, there are few managers who wouldn’t want Modric in their side.
The 2011/12 Premier League season saw Modric make 31 appearances for the North London club, scoring four goals and providing six assists. It was a season that started slowly for the 26-year-old, left out of Spurs’ loss to Manchester United because ‘his head was not right’ following protracted transfer negotiations with Chelsea. By the end of the season however Modric left few in doubt he is worth every penny of the £30million offered by the Blues, playing a key role in Spurs fourth place finish.
Chelsea’s crowning moment in Munich, which simultaneously dumped Spurs out of the Champions League, is an irony that has surely not escaped Modric. The midfielder was desperate to join the now European Champions last summer, but Spurs hardball stance with their star has led to Modric missing out on two trophies.
Life in London is believed to be the primary motivation behind Modric preferring a move to Chelsea over another European giant, and so the West London club this summer will again be favourites to capture his signature.
With no Champions League football at White Hart Lane next season it is unlikely Modric’s desire to move to their London rivals has dimmed, but interest from the other end may have. The debut season of Juan Mata and breakout season of Ramires means whoever is appointed as the new manager at Stamford Bridge may prefer to direct available funds to other areas of the pitch.
CHANCE OF SIGNING: 30%
If Modric does leave White Hart Lane, Stamford Bridge is the most likely destination. Whether the new Chelsea boss will push owner Roman Abramovich to part with the large sum of money required to sign the Croatian international remains the biggest question in this scenario.
It was apparent to most last summer that Manchester United needed to sign a quality midfielder to try and fill the gaping hole created through the retirement of Paul Scholes. Their failure to do so clearly hurt the club in a rare trophy-less season under Sir Alex Ferguson, and I can’t help but wonder where United would have ended up had the legendary midfielder not returned from retirement midway through the season.
Modric is a player that United should be desperate for, the calibre of the Croatian is such that Ferguson may have not been forced into a 4-5-1 like he was in the title deciding Manchester derby, fearful his midfield would be overrun. Acquiring Modric would also allow Wayne Rooney to play in his best position - further up the pitch, rather than having to work deep to assist the midfield.
It is doubtful Modric would turn down a club like United if they made a move for him, the sticking point in this transfer is clearly the fee involved. In an era for United that some have described as ‘Glazer minimalism’ it is hard to conceive that the American owners will part with £30million, particularly considering their last £30m investment from Tottenham (a club record fee), is set to leave the club on a free this summer.
CHANCE OF SIGNING: 10%
Given the interest in Modric from other clubs and the presence of chairman Daniel Levy at Spurs, the Croatian will not be leaving White Hart Lane for a cut price. At £30m then, it would take real desire from Sir Alex to force this move through.
Naturally when a player of Modric’s stature is linked with a move away, Real Madrid are placed in the frame whether there is real interest or not. Only yesterday the Daily Mail reported the Spanish giants are in a four-way battle with Chelsea, United and Manchester City for the Croatian’s signature.
Mesut Ozil had an outstanding season playing just behind Karim Benzema but it is possible Modric could play in a deeper role, maybe forcing Sami Khedira out of the side.
Club president Florentino Perez has been responsible for some spectacular singings in his two terms at Madrid, but a signing of this magnitude hasn’t occurred since he arrived for his second term in 2009. Given the brilliant squad at boss Jose Mourinho’s disposal, it is hard to see Los Blancos engaging in an expensive transfer battle for Modric.
CHANCE OF SIGNING: 5%
The one advantage Madrid do have is that they don’t compete in the Barclays Premier League. If Spurs accept they will lose Modric, they may prefer to sell to Spain for a cut price rather than allow their star to join a rival.
REMAIN AT TOTTENHAM
Modric may not want to remain in North London, but like last summer the decision to sign a five-year contract may come back to haunt him.
Not only did Levy convince Modric to sign a long term contract on a relatively low wage of approximately £70,000 a week, but the Spurs chairman has shown no inclination to snatch at big carrots dangled in front of him.
The Spurs squad does however have some holes, and a considerable lack in depth. Participation in the Champions League would have provided the finances to invest in those areas, now that finance is gone.
Pressure from the player combined with the pressure to bolster Redknapp’s squad may finally see Spurs bite the bullet and permit Modric his dream move.
CHANCE OF SIGNING: 55%
The Modric move was one of the big transfer sagas last summer and I don’t think we should expect anything different this summer. The Croatian is a star player for a Spurs side desperate to return to the Champions League, but their desperation may be better served by letting him go and investing in other areas of the squad. How much financial pressure Spurs are under will be the determining factor of what happens this time around.