Harry Redknapp urges Luka Modric to focus on Tottenham
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp hopes Luka Modric will soon be back to his best after managing to hold on to the playmaker despite strong interest from Chelsea this summer.
Spurs fans breathed a huge sigh of relief at 11pm last night as the transfer deadline passed without Modric moving across the capital to the Blues.
Not even a £40million offer from Roman Abramovich could prevent Spurs chairman Daniel Levy from altering the tough 'not for sale' stance he has held all summer over Modric, despite the Croatian clearly stating he wanted to move to Stamford Bridge.
The 25-year-old was arguably Spurs' best player last season but Chelsea's interest has taken its toll on him psychologically and he has only played once for the club so far this term.
Even that one appearance - against Manchester City last Sunday - came against Modric's will after Redknapp revealed the player had pleaded with him not to be selected.
Redknapp admitted last week that he has no idea whether Modric will be able to put his dream of challenging for the Champions League with Andre Villas-Boas' team behind him.
But now that Chelsea have no chance of signing him - until January at least - Redknapp is hoping the player will knuckle down and form a solid partnership with new signing Scott Parker in midfield.
"I am delighted that Luka Modric is still here. The chairman stood firm and I hope he will go on to have a great season for us," Redknapp told Tottenham's website.
"We are strong in the middle of the park now. Scott Parker has arrived, Sandro is getting fit and we also have Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore."
Parker completed his protracted move to White Hart Lane yesterday in a deal thought to be worth £6million.
His capture could prove to be one of the signings of the summer if he is able to recreate the kind of form that saw him win the Football Writers' Association player of the year award last season.
"It is great to have both of last year's footballers of the year here at Tottenham in Gareth Bale, who was the PFA Player of the Year, and now Scott Parker.
"Scott is exactly what we need. He is a good character and an excellent professional with a great attitude. He will be fantastic for us both on and off the pitch."
Emmanuel Adebayor and Brad Friedel were the other two main signings at the club this summer, with Levy heavily focused on selling the fringe players who have stagnated at the club over the last 12 months.
Alan Hutton and Jermaine Jenas both joined Aston Villa, David Bentley moved to West Ham on loan and Wilson Palacios was sold to Stoke along with Peter Crouch, who was a surprise exit from the club.
"We have had to reduce our number of players to get them all in our 25-man playing squad. It was difficult and we wish those leaving well," Redknapp added.
"We are looking forward to the rest of the season now. We have got a good squad and it is going to be exciting."
Friedel, 40, has ousted Heurelho Gomes from his number one spot since arriving on a free transfer from Aston Villa and Carlo Cudicini also impressed against Hearts in the Europa League last week.
With a long European campaign in the offing, Redknapp is pleased to have three quality stoppers at his disposal.
"We are fortunate to have three top goalkeepers at the club now following the addition of Brad Friedel earlier this summer," the 64-year-old said.
"He has already shown what he is capable of with his performances so far this season. He is a fantastic pro and a great goalkeeper."
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