Redknapp: £22 for Modric 'is ridiculous'


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The Independent Online

Harry Redknapp yesterday reiterated his desire to keep Luka Modric at Tottenham Hotspur despite the midfielder's outspoken attack on chairman Daniel Levy this week.

Redknapp said that Modric trained as usual with the rest of the Spurs squad yesterday and has not raised the issue of his desire to join Chelsea with his manager. Redknapp also said he expected Modric, 25, to be on the flight to South Africa tomorrow for their pre-season tour.

Modric has turned up the heat dramatically in his battle to leave Spurs, describing Levy as "cold" and "arrogant" in an interview with a Croatian newspaper and claiming that Levy had reneged on a gentleman's agreement made last summer to sell him if a bigger club made an offer. Spurs deny any agreement.

On the player's relationship with Levy, Redknapp admitted there were bridges to build. "That's for him [Modric] to sort out, it's a difficult one," he said but added he had no problems with Modric.

Redknapp told The Independent: "To start with, the Chelsea offer at the moment is a ridiculous offer – and we don't want to sell him. But if you are going to make an offer, make an offer. Don't offer £22m for a player that is worth nearer to £50m. I don't want to sell him. He has been training as normal. He is not a boy who would cause problems, I have never had a minute's problem with him. He's trained hard today. He has got on with it. The problem is that someone has come in and offered to double his wages."

Modric is earning £45,000-a-week with the implicit offer from Chelsea, who had a bid of £22m for him turned down last month, understood to be around £120,000-a-week. Having announced yesterday that midfielder Michael Essien will miss six months of action having undergone surgery to repair a cruciate knee ligament, Chelsea are preparing a second offer of £27m for Modric.

Redknapp said: "We want to keep him, I need to keep him. If we sell him and sign no-one where are we going? Mid-table again. We have to show some ambition and keep hold of them as well as signing players. Liverpool are looking to sign Stewart Downing. They are getting in players to go above us so even hanging on to sixth place will be difficult. He [Levy] will make the decision."