Modric ordered to play after possible move to Chelsea 'turns his head'


Luka Modric was ordered to play in Tottenham's 5-1 thrashing by Manchester City at White Hart Lane yesterday after telling Harry Redknapp less than an hour before kick-off that "his head wasn't right".

The Spurs manager said Modric, who has been the subject of a sustained transfer bid from Chelsea, had been happy to play 24 hours prior. "Then someone got into his head," said Redknapp. "We all know what goes on in the game. Something happened last night, I don't know what. His head's been turned. While he still sees a chink of light to go to Chelsea he's probably doing what he's being told is the best way to get [a move] there. I told him he needed to play. I had injuries in midfield. He's our main man."

Redknapp reiterated that he did not believe Modric would leave but instead hoped to make another signing within the next 24 hours. That is expected to be Scott Parker, who was left out of the West Ham squad for yesterday's Championship match at Nottingham Forest, which the Hammers won 4-1.

"There are negotiations going on and I didn't think he would be right to play," said West Ham manager Sam Allardyce. "I think [his move] will come to fruition in the next 24 hours." Allardyce added that the deal depended on whether enough of the fee (expected to be £5-6m) is paid up front enabling him to buy a replacement before the transfer window closed.

Making way for Parker is Wilson Palacios who, said Redknapp, was having a medical at Stoke City yesterday. Redknapp added that he "did not know anything" about a proposed £8m move to the same club for Peter Crouch. "No one's ever told me that he's going to Stoke, as far as I know he's staying, it's all a bit unsettling."

As for the match itself, Redknapp said: "They they have fantastic forward players and are difficult to contain for 90 minutes, but for 35 minutes there was nothing in the game. We had as many chances as they had, but we didn't defend well enough."

City preferred to focus on the quality of the finishing. Edin Dzeko, who had a tough start in England after moving to City in January, said: "To score four goals is fantastic. I wasn't 100 per cent fit when I first came in January, but I feel better and stronger now."