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Should Tottenham Hotspur Force Luka Modric To Stay?

by Sifaeli Tesha
25 August 2011 11 Comments

Tottenham Hotspurs continue to play hardball insisting Luka Modric will not be going to Chelsea. But can it help a club to keep a player who’s ‘had his head turned’?

For the last few weeks I’ve been saying Spurs should get shot of Luka Modric. If he wants to leave let him, you can’t turn a players head back. But that was when I thought it was a done deal. Now Harry is singing from the same hymn sheet as Levy and insisting the Croat’s staying and Redknapp has the skills to convince Modders that White Hart Lane is still the best place for him.

Despite all the public pronouncements saying Luka will definitely be a Spurs player (at least until January), with a week left until the transfer window slams shut anything could happen. But assuming the power is still with Tottenham what should they do? Other clubs have held on to their prize assets despite a player making noises about leaving with varying degrees of success but what’s the point of delaying the inevitable?

Naysayer will look at how Gareth Barry was forced to stay at Villa for an extra year when Liverpool came in for him. During that time his relationship with the club completely broke down and he was out the door to a team that finished below Villa when the season was over. Granted that team is now one of the dominant forces in the Premier League but at the time all Man City had was money. Adebayor and Joleon Lescott were the other ‘big name’ signings and Mark Hughes had just been handed the reigns. This was at a time when Villa were Champions League hopefuls and spent long stretches of the season in the top four. Despite all that after Martin O’Neill and Villa scuppered his move to Liverpool he left a club where he’d been for 10 years to the first side that met his valuation.

Then there’s the curious case of Cesc Fabregas. Arsenal fans may look at his protracted sale as the slowest plaster removal in Premier League history. During the three season transfer saga Arsenal didn’t pick up any silverware and Cesc’s valuation didn’t rise or fall sharply from the £30 million mark give or take a couple of million here or the waiving of some other payment there. But it did get Arsenal another three years of service from a world-class player and a totem for the rest of this developing squad to look up to. That extra time allowed the players around him to grow up and heralded the maturity of Wilshire and Ramsey. A benefit that’s hard to quantify.

While Luka is still at the club it keeps the hope alive that he’ll stay longer.

A clearer example of the benefits of holding onto a player longer than he wants to stay at your club is Cristiano Ronaldo’s epic transfer to Real Madrid. The Spanish giants came in for Ronny in 2007, the Portuguese really wanted to move in 2008 then finally left a year later. From the time he’d originally ‘had his head turned’ to the time he left for the Bernabeu he and United won the Champions League, picked up a runners up medal and bagged three Premier League titles.

In these cases although the player eventually moved it wasn’t too detrimental to the clubs. Villa probably faired worse receiving around £5 million less than they would have if they sold Barry when he first wanted to leave but maintained their league position that only started to deteriorate when they lost their manager. The medium term affect on Arsenal is yet to be seen but they had Cesc on hand to help educate a new crop which – if you listen to Jack Wilshere – has an effect that you can’t calculate in pound signs. As for Man United they kept a player who was integral in winning trophies.

The above assumes it’s just a matter of time until the player will leave but there’s a Scouser who’s plight should encourage Spurs fans. Steven Gerrard. He wanted to leave for Chelsea in 2004 when Houllier left Liverpool. The next year with Benitez at the helm he won the European Cup. Despite this he still wanted to do one, handed in a transfer request and was almost off to collect trophies with Jose Mourinho down at Stamford Bridge. Again he was convinced to give Merseyside another chance and went on to have the 2006 FA Cup final named after, was a Premier and Champions League runner up and hasn’t made a peep about moving on since. Now he stands in the crowd, is rightfully considered a Liverpool legend and will no doubt have a statue made for him.

Looking at these examples I’ve changed my mind. As long as he still tries for us keeping Modric – even for just one more season – is worth it. Firstly his influence on bringing on Tottenham’s young midfielders in training will improve them and should soften the blow for his departure. Plus there’s a chance Modders can help us capture a trophy, obviously not the Champions League like in Ronaldo’s case but we have as good a chance as anyone of bagging one or more of the three cups on offer.

Perhaps most importantly while Luka is still at the club it keeps the hope alive that he’ll stay longer. If the football gods smile on us and we do manage a special season and qualify for the Champions League Modric may feel he can achieve his ambitions with Spurs. If he’s still a Hotspur in a few seasons time and when he’s not playing is spotted in the Paxton End with the rest of the fans all the nonsense from this summer will be long forgotten. Hopefully the chairman has learnt from the mistakes of the Berbatov transfer when we sacrificed bringing in a replacement for an extra few million quid. Once he KNOWS Modric is going to leave get that deal done, but if he feels the club can convince Luka to stay, even for a little while, these examples show it’s worth a go.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Vicky 12:37 pm, 26-Aug-2011

Glad to see you admitting you were wrong. It's a redundant question as he is staying and always was. Clubs should not give in to player power. The first year Arsenal refused to sell Fabregas he was the best player in the league the following season so it entirely depends upon the individual.

AntiOnan 12:58 pm, 26-Aug-2011

It will be a true test of Modric as an individual if he stays as the choices are: a spoilt, sulking, pseudo-adolescent, temperamental Balkan, a la Berb or a true professional and an honest man. WE have heard much of his family's "hard life". Let's see if it made him a man or not. Anyone wish to make a bet on which one we see if he stays?

Randall 2:00 pm, 26-Aug-2011

Is there no situation under which selling Modric can benefit the team though? What of this new bid that tops 40 and players? That offer is nearly double what was originally rumored for Modric and is starting to approach Torres territory. Clearly, the Spurs have Roman on tilt here so why not cash in? Who else is going to give up 40 million and prospects? And what can Modric possibly provide individually that's more beneficial than that this season? If the team was really interested in keeping him they should have approached him with a master plan and a legitimate contract offer. Instead, they're talking to him about the potential for a new contract offer months down the line. It feels like they're just being stubborn for the sake of it, potentially to the detriment of the club long-term. Tottenham's big but not top 4 big. 40 million and prospects is no joke and could really help the club in the future.

Roy 2:52 pm, 26-Aug-2011

If the "author" of this article had a shed of integrity ,surely the headline ought to be "Shouldn't Modric honour a legal contract signed ONE year ago and with a term of FIVE years to run?"

oldun 3:01 pm, 26-Aug-2011

Randall seem to think Modrioc has no obligation to honouir a contract less than 20% completed.Reading his comments he is obviously not disclosing that he's a Chelsea supporter. How challenged do you have to be to post the comment "If the team was really interested in keeping him they should have approached him with a master plan and a legitimate contract offer." ? Perhaps Randall might tell us, with his obviously learned legal skills, exactly why he has come to the conclusion that the contract signed a year ago with a term of five years still to run is NOT "legitimate. Some cretins seem to know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Seems like Roman is cloning sycophants who post with a concept of ethics, decency and moprality to match his own. Can't wait for Randall's legal expertise and what the terms of Modric's current contract are.Surely he must know them to determine the exaxt items which render it illegitimate and presumably unlawful. Tick,tick,tick ....waiting.

lieutenant 3:24 pm, 26-Aug-2011

...bored with luka modric saga never going to chelski cheap...happy if eden hazard filled void £25m ? modric worth £40m to spurs team building plans new academy plus stadium "north london la la la" smug chelski smeg-headhunters mugs! "daddy sugar daddy!" midgets lol.

Randall 3:36 pm, 26-Aug-2011

Oldun, this is professional sports we're writing about here and like it or not, the legal ramifications within any league are rarely ever tested. If it's ethics you want to debate then I think we've chosen the wrong arena because the basis of this very article is founded on the theory that usually the player gets what they want in the end. Gerrard is one of the only examples where that didn't occur. Modric has now sat out 2 straight games and received a threat that he will not only be cup-tied but unable to represent Croatia Internationally. Harry's doing all that he can to save the guy's reputation amongst Spurs fans, essentially pleading with them to see his position and not to turn on him but this has all the makings of a relation in turmoil that will end next season if not before the end of the week. You're being far too idealistic and naive here, trumpeting morality as though Modric's the only footballer without any. This happens every year and the Spurs have played a masterful game of bluff. It's time to cut ties, cash in, receive a nice return on investment (including prospects like Sturridge) and move on utilizing those assets to become an even better, stronger team. Do you really believe that anybody else is going to offer more than 40 million and prospects?

Randall 7:07 pm, 26-Aug-2011

Latest report seems to suggest now that this isn't a bluff, or an attempt to sell Modric at an inflated value. Tottenham seem to want to send a message here to the rest of the league: "We're not to be underestimated and signing with us isn't to be taken lightly." Good for them. It's their right. Chelsea will move on and have to get creative as they did with the signing of Juan Mata, who has as much potential as Modric did as the same age if not more anyway. The real loser in all this is Modric of course. He now has to go back with his tail between his legs, playing in front of fan base who've probably already turned on him. Hopefully, they won't riot and burn down his house. Thankfully, the season won't be too long for him regardless. I'm sure he's already looking forward to his next vacation.

AntiOnan 3:06 am, 27-Aug-2011

You can tell that Randall is no THFC supporter by the above. As for THFC not being top four: only Arsenal have managed this without cheating by importing mass money buys via sugar daddies. And I DO include MU who have used cash as a game weapon for decades which is why so many hate them and cannot wait for SAF to retire as it is he who did the groundwork which made that cash useful. IMHO the public face of Modric really has egg on it and only good performances will remove it.

oldun 5:46 pm, 27-Aug-2011

What a shamewful comment and an aspersion on all decent Spurs fans. "Hopefully, they won't riot and burn down his house." If Randall has a shred of decency he will cogitate on this disgusting slur and publish an apology. What a sad comment. I was respecting his response until his last comment which is beneath contempt. It's a sad refelcrion on the downside of the internet that such bile is published. For a seemingly intelligent individual rRndall has either plumbed the depths without thought or sought to provoke indignation. Seems to be a conflict between fan and neanderthal.

Sifa 11:50 am, 29-Aug-2011

Roy "Shouldn't Modric honour a legal contract signed ONE year ago and with a term of FIVE years to run?" hardly trips of the tongue does it?

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