Please, Tottenham Hotspur, Don't Swap Modric For Manchester United's Berbatov

This would be typical of Tottenham Hotspur, swapping our player of the year for a bloke who refused to play and jumped ship for Manchester United
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This would be typical of Tottenham Hotspur, swapping our player of the year for a bloke who refused to play and jumped ship for Manchester United

This would be typical of Tottenham Hotspur, swapping our player of the year for a bloke who refused to play and jumped ship for Manchester United

The summer’s always silly season for transfer gossip, so here’s one from the tabs, a player swap: Modric to Manchester United, Berbatov back to Tottenham Hotspur. Feasible?

I blo*dy hope not.

Modric, our player of the season, playmaker extraordinaire, who created plenty of the too-few goals we scored. Berbatov, left off the bench even, for Manchester United’s humiliation at the feet of the Catalans at the weekend – having shared the Premiership Golden Boot with Tevez.

Berba’s on his way out, a child wearing two squirrels as sunglasses could see that. Modric has five years left on his contract, which “ties” him to the club till 2016, and Harry Redknapp’s often asserted that we cannot be a selling club, that we must retain our best players then buy more. The dinky Croatian, as Harry has also pointed out, tops the pile. Tottenham Hotspur fans will be gritting their teeth through any related transfer gossip.

I don’t reckon Modric will go, even for a stupidly inflated wage packet, nor even the prospect of Champions League football. We can’t offer the latter next season, but then neither could we when Modric signed for Juande Ramos in 2008. Indeed, the negotiations probably went something like this:

Ramos: “Fancios joiningos Tottingham, dos pointos de possible veinte-quatro, startos de seasono?”

Modric: “Erm.”

That bloke could bring down a small meteorite from the heavens and land it on the turf with the delicacy of a top chef plating up foie gras.

There’s a loyalty innate in the little fella, even if he did support Barca as a kid. (A poverty-stricken childhood during which he endured the murder of the grandfather after whom he was named, by Serbian soldiers amid the Balkan conflict, and his terrified family fled their home – building the steely character undeterred by his slight frame we see on the pitch, I’d suggest.)

He’ll give us another season. (My heart wrote that bit while my head made a hopeful face.)

Berbatov’s background in communist Bulgaria was similarly impoverished, yet he exudes a very different persona on the field. ‘Laconic’ probably best sums it up. At Spurs he either lit up an attack or he disappeared, appearing only occasionally to fling his eyes at the heavens when someone failed to find him with a pass, or to chew his feet off to the knees in frustration. To be honest, I felt for him. That bloke could bring down a small meteorite from the heavens and land it on the turf with the delicacy of a top chef plating up foie gras.

Would I want him back? Not in a million. Remember his refusal to play for us, when he was desperate to sign for United? (What goes around, etc.) Remember when we bought Keane back from Liverpool? He and Berbatov scored 23 goals apiece for Spurs during the 2007/08 season. The season after they left, Keane managed five, Berbatov nine. Since the Irishman returned to us, he either seems to have forgotten how to play the game, or his heart isn’t in it.

Berbatov won’t return to Tottenham Hotspur, Modric won’t leave for Manchester United. I’d stake my reputation (flimsier still than anything Imogen removed for Ryan) on that.

Note to editor: after uploading this please destroy server, burn down Sabotage offices and stand in street wrapped in blanket, staring shell-shocked into space.

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