Tottenham defiant despite Luka Modric transfer request

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp insists that Luka Modric will be staying at Tottenham despite the Croatian submitting a transfer request.

Modric is desperate to move to London rivals Chelsea but Spurs are determined to hold on to their man and have rejected bids of £22million and £27million for the player.

As reported by The Independent, the 25-year-old has put in a written transfer request to try to force through a move, but Redknapp insists any such move would have no change on the club's stance that he is not for sale.

Redknapp told BBC Sport: "We know he wants to leave and whether he writes it down on a piece of paper doesn't really make any difference to our stance.

"He's a great player and we don't want to lose him."

Spurs were unable to confirm this morning whether a transfer request had been received by the club.

Since Chelsea submitted their initial offer a month ago, the Croatian has gone on record three times declaring that he wants to leave for Chelsea, but he has repeatedly insisted that he would not hand in a formal transfer request to force through the move.

If it turns out he has gone back on his word and submitted a request then it clearly shows he is more determined than ever to leave White Hart Lane to get the Champions League football that he craves with Chelsea.

Chelsea responded to Modric's stinging attack on chairman Daniel Levy last weekend by upping their offer to £27million and they may respond to today's reports by further increasing their bid for the talented playmaker.

Redknapp and Levy have always maintained that Modric will not be leaving the club and it is understood that the mood among the White Hart Lane hierarchy has not shifted despite today's supposed developments.

Earlier this week Redknapp said a transfer request from Modric would make "no difference" to the club's stance and neither would an improved bid of over £30million for the player.

Levy is understood to be deeply unhappy at Modric for the interview he gave with a Croatian newspaper last week in which he accused the Spurs chairman of being "arrogant" and "twisting the facts" about a showdown meeting the two had to discuss a potential transfer.

Nevertheless, Levy is still determined to keep the player after making a vow to fans on the last day of last season that the likes of Modric, Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart would not be sold.

Keeping an unhappy player at the club may prove damaging to Redknapp's squad in the long term, however, and a big transfer fee would allow Spurs to buy heavily to help them try to achieve the top-four place that escaped them last season.

Modric touched down in South Africa this morning with the rest of his team-mates for the club's 10-day pre-season tour and is expected to play some part in Saturday's friendly against Kaizer Chiefs.

Redknapp will fly out to South Africa the following day when he is expected to discuss the player's future.

Tottenham captain Michael Dawson is hopeful that the furore surrounding Modric will not affect the club's pre-season tour.

"The transfer talks happen year in and year out and rumours come and go," Dawson told reporters at a press conference shortly after the squad arrived in Johannesburg.

"All we can do is to concentrate on the job ahead and aim at getting trophies this season."