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Time running out for Modric move to Madrid

Real Madrid manager José Mourinho appears to be becoming ever more frustrated as Luka Modric’s protracted move to the Spanish champions continues to rumble on.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has slapped a £40 million price on the Croatian playmaker’s head, and is refusing to budge from this figure as negotiations continue.

A number of bids have reportedly been made, all of which fail to reach this valuation and have consequentially been firmly rejected.

Most recently a £38 million offer including £8 million in the form of add-ons to be paid over the duration of Modric’s stay has been turned down, as has a part exchange bid involving either experienced Portuguese defensive enforcer Ricardo Carvalho or promising Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin, as the North London side hold out for £40 million up front.

Despite the wantaway midfielder having already agreed terms on a five year contract with Real and attempting to force through a move by refusing to turn up for his side’s preseason tour of America, it appears his chairman’s hard line approach could be testing Madrid’s patience with the transfer.

Indeed, Mourinho has reportedly begun looking at potential alternatives to Modric, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez highlighting former player Wesley Sneijder as an alternative should a deal fail to materialise.

Sneijder left the Bernabeu for Inter Milan three years ago after enduring a mixed time at the club, but has since enjoyed a renaissance in Italy, and was widely reported to be a top priority target for Manchester United last summer.

Another possibility is 23 year old Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel, who currently plays in Portugal for Benfica and has a growing reputation as one of Europe’s brightest midfield talents.

Modric will be desperate for Madrid to up their bid to seal his dream move to the Spanish capital, but Levy’s stubbornness could result in the talented playmaker spending another year in London instead.

SPURS SET FOR MODRIC TALKS

It has emerged in recent weeks that Tottenham will be holding talks with the star midfielder Luka Modric in an attempt to persuade him to stay at the club. The 26-year-old has been linked with a move away from the club for quite a while now, but he has to the extreme step in his attempts to force a move to Real Madrid or PSG. Modric came extremely close to joining Chelsea in the last transfer window for around £ 40 million only for Tottenham to convince him that White Hart Lane was the destination to be. However, the failure to secure Champions League football for the second consecutive season has meant that Modric has grown impatient of life at Tottenham.

He was not part of the Spurs squad that travelled to the United States as part of the pre-season. This led to heavy criticism from the manager Andre Villas-Boas, who said that he is extremely disappointed with the attitude shown by Luka Modric. Even though the Croatian midfielder is the highest earner at the club due to his £ 80,000 per week contract, he is thought to be extremely interested by the opportunity to join Real Madrid where he could earn around £ 150,000 per week.

“I think Modric is wrong. This (refusal to fly) will go against him. He has worsened the situation with what he is doing and now the chairman is very angry,” said Andre Villas-Boas upon the arrival of the Tottenham squad in the United States for their pre-season. It is expected that even though Tottenham will not get the same £ 40 million offer for Modric, a £ 35 million offer would be enough to prize him away from White Hart Lane. PSG and Real Madrid are the clubs showing tremendous interest in signing the player.

MODRIC – ITALY GAME MATTERS

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has said that the match against Italy will determine their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012.

Luka Modric was one of the outstanding players for Croatia in their 3-1 win over Republic of Ireland in the opening group match. Due to the fact that Croatia are in the group containing Spain and Italy, they are not the favourites to qualify for the next round. Despite this, the win against the Republic of Ireland coupled with the draw for both Spain and Italy in their heavyweight encounter has meant that Croatia have been given a great opportunity to progress to the next round.

However, Luka Modric has revealed that the team is not looking beyond the next match against Italy. Croatia and the Italy football team will be taking on each other on Thursday knowing that have been for Croatia could put them on the brink of qualification. The final group game for Croatia is against current world champions Spain. Modric, who has been subject to transfer rumours from Manchester United and Barcelona, has said that he would like the team to perform in the same way against Italy as they did against the Republic of Ireland.

‘That’s an amazing game for us as well. I hope we can repeat this performance on Thursday evening and I hope we can win against Italy as well. It is going to be a different game, but we have to prepare well, bring this performance and play like we did last night. It has given us confidence because we won. That game didn’t bother us that much and we were only focused on our game and how to win. Now we have four days to think about Italy. I hope we prepare well, like we did for the Ireland football team,’ said Modric.

HARRY PRAISES LUKA

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has once again come out in praise of the Croatian midfielder Luka Modric by saying that he is irreplaceable by Tottenham. The Croatian midfielder was linked with a move to Chelsea in the last summer. Chelsea were prepared to pay as much as £ 40 million for the final day of the transfer window, but Tottenham managed to hold onto their star asset. It was quite impressive given that Luka Modric even handed a transfer request to Tottenham. However, the fans and the players have been able to accept the Croatian back into the first-team.

He has since repaid the faith by being extraordinarily brilliant in the midfield of Tottenham. He was once again the difference between Tottenham winning and losing a match against Bolton Wanderers in the midweek round of action. Tottenham were struggling to break down a stubborn Bolton side, but it was Luka Modric who created a bit of magic, as the game was closing was the first half break. The long range effort from the Croatian was a perfect demonstration of his quality. Tottenham, then, went on to win the match 4-1, but Harry Redknapp reckons that it is due to his importance to open up defences that he is almost irreplaceable.

“He (Modric) is a fantastic player, great professional, top bloke. You can’t replace him. You can sell him but you can’t replace him with someone as good. That’s why the other clubs want to buy him – because he is worth the money. We don’t want to sell him, we want to keep him. Once you start selling your best players you are finished. He’s one of the better players in world football. He’s an amazing footballer,” said Redknapp after the 4-1 win over Bolton. Tottenham will be making the trip to Aston Villa during the weekend.