Levy must maintain Modric stance – for the club’s sake and his own

by Nicholas Godden

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Daniel Levy was described by former Tottenham chairman and star of The Apprentice Alan Sugar, as the toughest negotiator he has ever dealt with, after ENIC Group, an investment company chaired by Levy, took over the club in 2001. However, it is vital that Levy eschews from entering negotiations with any club regarding Luka Modric after categorically stating the player is not for sale, at any price.

Modric has been the subject of intense speculation this summer, with no less than three major Premier League clubs reportedly chasing the Croatian playmaker’s signature. Chelsea’s bid of £22 million, made last month, was instantly rejected by the North London club and manager Harry Redknapp described the offer as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘farcical’ claiming that “there are people being sold for £20 million who are not fit to lace Luka’s boots.”

After seeing their derisory bid rejected, Chelsea proceeded to make the offer public, nothing more than an obvious attempt to unsettle the player. Subsequently Levy released a statement declaring that the club had absolutely no intention of parting company with their prized asset, regardless of the fee.

The Spurs chairman said: “In respect of Luka Modric, we are not prepared to sell, at any price, to Chelsea Football Club or any other club. We made our stance on this issue abundantly clear in writing to Chelsea. They chose to ignore it and then subsequently made the offer public.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, let me reiterate that we shall not enter into any negotiations whatsoever, with any club, regarding Luka. We now consider this matter closed.”

Having made his stance imposingly perspicuous, Levy has afforded himself no room for maneuver. Failure to maintain his definitive and uncompromising posture could have a damning effect on the club, at the same time jeopardising his relationship with the supporters, players and even the manager.

To sell Modric, now, would not only represent the loss of a quality player, but could potentially reverse the rapid progress made by the club in the past two seasons. Redknapp has repeatedly reiterated his desire to further strengthen the squad over the summer in an attempt to close the gap on the ‘new big four’. A squad sans Modric would, without apprehension, be  a weaker one.

Having received emphatic assurances from the board room, Redknapp would undoubtedly question Levy’s ambition to take the club forward if Modric’s departure were to be sanctioned, adding superfluous pressure on an otherwise suitably practicable relationship. Respect and trust, like Modric, decamped.

Selling Modric would demonstrate Spurs’ inability to break into the exclusive group of ‘big’ clubs, and suggests the club’s recent success has been nothing more than over-achievement. If the club are to continually dine with the elite they must eradicate the sale of their stars to the top clubs. In the past Michael Carrick, and more recently Dimitar Berbatov have departed North London in search of titles, glory, and a bigger payday. Tottenham must banish the idea that they are a selling club.

And what of the other top quality players. If Modric were to leave, it would be tough to convince the likes of Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart that their ambitions can be met by the club. How long before they would seek their exits in search of trophies. The sale of Modric has the potential to send Tottenham back to the mediocrity of the mid-table position they have occupied for much of the modern era.

In the coming weeks Levy’s resolve will indubitably be tested again as Chelsea and both Manchester clubs monitor the situation. However, it is imperative the club stand firm and block any advances made, as promised by the chairman. Modric and Levy are set to meet for talks when the Croatian international returns to the club to begin pre-season.

The outcome of these talks could be pivotal to Tottenham’s success in the coming season. Ultimately though, the decision rests with Levy. There is no pressure to sell. The club is in a healthy position financially and the player has five years remaining on his contract.

By Nicholas Godden

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  • darren

    catch 22, Arsenal are risking keeping a player who wants to go else where, same as Spurs, if Chelsea come in with £50m bid they gotta sell, Modric is good, but not that good! I’d sell him and replace with 2 quality players.

    Unfortunately it’s the state of football, if the big boys come in for your players (Barca, Real, United, Chelsea & City) you have to sell or risk having unsettled players in your squad who will do nothing for morale

  • Niven Frey

    No you really don’t have to sell. This is a red herring- a kind of self fulfilling prophecy. Man City have just begun playing hardball with the likes of Bellamy, Given and Tevez and are doing football a great service in this respect. Let’s change this terrible example we currently set to children that throwing your toys out of the pram can get you what you want despite any obligations to a contract!

  • http://justeunjeu.wordpress.com Nicholas Godden

    Darren, I feel that keeping hold of Modric is more about making a statement. Yes, £50 million would be a great off for him, but it sends out the wrong message, to current players and potential ones.

    For Levy to go back on his word would be as damning for his reputation as for the strength of the squad.

    Besides, the noises made by Modric haven’t been so loud that he would become disruptive. I think he is model proffesional and would continue to work hard for the team.

  • http://justeunjeu.wordpress.com Nicholas Godden

    Niven Frey, absolutley. The players should not be the ones with the power. If players have no intention of honouring long contracts, they should sign shorter contracts but for much smaller salary. Im sure they would not want to do that. Most are mercenaries.

  • darren

    it’s only a matter of time before he wants out and you can’t blame him, no disrespect to Spurs, but Chelsea will be challenging for every trophy until Abramavich gets bored, as will United.

    Same with Fabregas and now Nasri, Arsenals pathetic tight ars ways means another season without a trophy, Leighton 15m, bargain, especially as we got 7 for Clichy. Then you read utter drival such as Wenger in for 27m Benezma, as he would spend his whole transfer budget on one player.

  • jb

    we need a radical solution in the contracts, if the player wants out half way through then he should be responsible for buying out the rest of his contract and not the club he is going to sign for, that will solve it and stop all the greedy little shits calling all the shots.

    if you sign for a club, you honor your contract, if you are not 100% sure, sign a smaller contract.

  • http://justeunjeu.wordpress.com Nicholas Godden

    Im sure that Modric will not cause major disruption though. He already said he will not hand in a tranfer request and his agent said he will honour his contract. I think Spurs should and will keep hold of him, for one more year at least.

  • http://justeunjeu.wordpress.com Nicholas Godden

    The problem with players buying out their own contracts is a player may have a two year contract worth£10m but on the transfer market could be worth £20m. The clubs would lose out big time.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    if the player buys out his contract who gets the other 10 m then?
    10 goes to the club, surely the other 10m does too, it just means the player has to pay that.

    Eg: Chelsea offer 20m, which Spurs except, but Modric has to buy out the other 10m, therefore Spurs actually make 30m

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