Tottenham Hotspur were hit by two pieces of bad news yesterday as the first team flew out to start their pre-season tour of South Africa. Luka Modric handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force through a proposed move to Chelsea, while the club fear that midfielder Sandro, who injured his knee on Copa America duty with Brazil, will require surgery that could keep him out for up to three months.
Modric, who has seen two Chelsea bids of £22m and £27m rejected, was on the flight to Johannesburg, where Tottenham play three games. However, the Croatian midfielder has asked to leave after complaining that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy broke a "gentleman's agreement" to sell him if Tottenham failed to qualify for the Champions League. Sandro suffered a suspected tear to the meniscus in his right knee during training in Argentina and has been sent home by his country. He will be scanned in London today.