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Why Luka Modric Could Decide Next Year’s Title Race

Photo by apasciuto

The arms race that is the summer transfer window is usually around 40% hype and rumors, 40% actual transfers and 20% really weird transfers that make everyone question how things happen. So while people being interested in Luka Modric makes sense, the bidding and offers being thrown around makes you sort of question everybody’s real motivations.

Modric, a very talented midfielder who assisted in Tottenham making the Champions League this season, is either on the market or not on the market depending on who you like to read. Manchester City wants a midfielder and they’re supposedly going after him. Manchester United wants to replace Paul Scholes with Modric. Chelsea supposedly offered £22 million for Modric (which was supposedly being turned down) and Tottenham allegedly doesn’t want to give him up, while other stories are saying “Of course they say that — until someone offers up £35 millon.”

Modric could be the lynchpin that Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea so desperately need. It’s obvious that United is severely lacking a creative midfielder. Chelsea needs someone who can provide Fernando Torres the service he needs. And Manchester City, with their vast amounts of money, need to stop Manchester United and Chelsea from purchasing a player who would dent their title hopes. Whoever ends up with Luka Modric could win the Premier League title race next season.

It’s all well and good that teams want someone talented and that Spurs don’t want to sell him but at what point does each side start looking foolish? Tottenham’s argument is that they feel that keeping Modric is what keeps them in the race for trophies, but if teams are going to start overspending with bids wouldn’t it be prudent to fleece someone else and use the money to buy a few players? On the other side, Modric is a good player, but is he worth spending £35 million?

It would seem that psychology, both positive and negative is what’s going to make this move happen or not. Tottenham could possibly feel that by keeping him it’s both a move of team solidarity, but more so a move to not get pushed around by the rest of the “top 6”. It’s a weird, non-tangible respect that the club possibly seeks to hang on to; no one would treat you like a top tier team if you develop players that you’ll give up for the right price. The Chelsea/City/United delegation seems to sign guys now in some sort of one-upmanship move, like big conglomerate companies undercutting each other. Everyone in this begins to not give the other side what they want, and it spirals to such a point where it’s insane that someone is offering Modric that much money and that Tottenham is not taking it.

It’s weird, but it’s what makes the Premier League the most interesting league in the world.

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  1. Gary

    June 25, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Modric will be swapped for Drogba and either Anelka or kalou. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sturridge isn’t part of the deal in place of Anelka or Kalou. The problem for Spurs is that they will have to find a replacement for Modric. I don’t believe Scott Parker is the answer despite Harry’s admiration for him.

    • Nate

      June 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

      No way Drogba goes to Surs. If he leaves Chelsea he goes to Marseille. Anelka or Kalou could definitely go the other way. Sturridge is interesting, wouldn’t want to see him go but villas boas seems to like Falcao enough to bring him from porto, so we’ll see.

  2. dominjon

    June 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    He wants out, read The Guardian online for a bunch of great quotes from him. It is almost a carbon copy of what Torres said, Chelsea must fax it over to the player’s agent. He has basically said he wants out and only to Chelsea. Done after the initial fairly low offer (22 mill) was rejected, same as with Torres, he came out after the initial offer (25 mill) was turned down.
    He’ll end up at Spurs and knowing ‘arry it probably will involve cash and some unwanted Chelsea players, ’cause he loves to wheel and deal.

    • mark otaru

      June 25, 2011 at 6:03 am

      personal am chelsea fan from tanzania. my opinion it will be very mistake if chelsea fc under new manager villa boas to take any initiative steps to sell fernando torres instead of drogba as a means of swoop aging squad. Torres is the best and wonderfull player with 27 yrs of age only. The problem for torres last season was imparted most by lack of strong play marker to feed the torres as steve gerrald do that is why we are strive for lucas modric as a means to combat the situation. so mr boas dont sell torres by any cost give him next season you will appreciate the man.

      • Nate

        June 25, 2011 at 11:34 am

        I agree with you, Torres needs one more year to prove himself. We can sell or trade Anelka and Kalou but i still have hope that Villas boas can get Drogba and Torres to play well together.

  3. THomas

    June 17, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Here’s the issue:

    Modric by all accounts, is probably not “worth” 35million.

    However, the inflated fees teams are paying for players in general, mean Spurs can’t afford to let him walk for any less.

    Considering Jordan Henderson just fetched 20million, Darren Bent went for something like 20million, and Liverpool dropped 35million on Carrol, and you start to see how “little” 35million actually becomes in terms of finding a suitable replacement.

  4. Andy

    June 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    If Sours sell Modric they are basically guaranteeing that they will be a mid-table team with no CL football in any foreseeable future. Not good, not bad, just mediocre and that’s the worst fate of all.

    Why would other world class players want to come to White Hart Lane? They will see that the owners and manager are willing to sell them whenever an offer comes along and that they have no real intention of building a team that can win it all. Modric goes, Van de Vaart is next followed by Bale, and all Spurs fans get to see week in and week out are the likes of Peter Crouch.

    • Guy

      June 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      Although I like Crouchie, overall I’d say, “qft”.

  5. sacto blues

    June 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    As a Chelsea supporter I’d rather have Van De Vaart who had 13 goals and 8 assists last year while even Crouch had better stats than Modric. Someone brought up Xavi only having 7 assists as well as Iniesta having 8 assists but Barca got 15 assists from both Messi and Alves. I just don’t think if Modric left Spurs that Spurs would be any worse or better. In 91 games with Spurs he’s got 9 goals and 10 assists. I think at best he is a 10-12 million dollar player.

    • MennoDaddy

      June 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      Capital! You keep right on thinking that, friend. Be my guest!

    • MUFC77

      June 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Id say hes worth more than that. For me Henderson might be worth 10-12 million because he hasnt done anything yet. Modric has 2-3 seasons in the EPL and is an established international. Id say around 20-25 if the transfer market wasn’t so overly inflated.

    • Nate

      June 18, 2011 at 12:14 am

      I’m a Chelsea fan and Croatian-American. You seem to like statistics. Do you play EPL fantasy? Modric was second in the league in ‘man of the match’ points, losing out to Charlie Adam. The guy is a game changer. He can hold the ball and distribute better than any midfielder we have, but more importantly he can play the ball where Torres wants it. The two will be lethal together.

    • Gareth van der Sandro

      June 19, 2011 at 7:31 am

      Now that is funny!
      I suppose using that thinking we should put a cheeky 6M Euro bid in for Torres.

  6. Daniel

    June 17, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Spurs should definitely NOT sell Modric or any of their core players, almost (if someone offers silly money — like 60 million you take it) at any price. Here’s the rational:

    As has been said, Spurs have a great midfield but weak forwards and (depending on who you ask) decent defense. Even last summer, though, with Champions League on the horizon we weren’t able to sign a world-class forward. Again, in January — while Spurs had recently impressed on the big stage (and before the disastrous end of season) we had offered several forwards ~30 million, if I remember correctly and couldn’t entice anyone.
    I’m hopeful that we WILL be able to entice the quality forward(s) we need, but it’s far from certain.

    We already have plenty of above average players sitting on the bench (Kranjcar, Huddlestone, we just gave away Tarrabt, no room for Bentley, etc) but can’t attract world-class talent. We have developed that to some extent in Bale and Modric — somehow picked up VdV — and with potential in others. What would we do with 30 million from selling Modric? Buy 2, 3, even 4 really good but not great players to join the ranks sitting on the bench? Ridiculous!

    What happened to the Champions League money? We haven’t bought anyone of note (Piennar for 3(?), Friedel for free) surely we have money to spend already — it’s just a matter of convincing an amazing forward (and an amazing young CB) that with them we will consistently be in CL and challenging for title.

    • titus sila katiru

      July 19, 2011 at 2:58 am

      my name is sila from nairobi kennya i want the chairman of spur to allow the modric to leave the club to join the powerful club to acheave is dream thanks

  7. El Tri 2014

    June 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Keeping Bale and Modric doesn’t guarantee a top 4 finish. Spurs should sell Bale (for an insane sum) to rebuild SPurs and keep Modric but knowing ‘Arry he will eventually sell Modric. That said, he’s worth $20M maybe $27M but $35M is way too much and SAF knows that. For $35M you can buy Sneijder and be done with it.

  8. Junior

    June 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Andrew wrote:
    “yes liverpool are that much stronger than spurs at the moment that they were unbeaten for about 5 or 6 games scoring 22-25 goals in the process at end of season and then we smashed them 2-0 at anfield 4 1st time in 20 years”

    We’re talking right now not last season. With Gerard coming back from injury, Carroll fully recovered from his injury and Suarez having a half season to get used to the EPL, yes I think Liverpool are better than Spurs right now. If no changes are made to either team as of right now I think most people would pick Liverpool to finish above Spurs. Of course, the transfer season has just begun so we’ll have to wait and see what further changes are in store for both teams.

  9. Svavar

    June 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Spurs dont need major acquisitions, they need 1 world class striker, with the ability to hold the ball up and get on the end of crosses from bale and lennon, someone who likes playing as a lone striker and can link up with Van der Vaart and score goals, something sorely missing last season. Tottenham has the best midfield in england by miles, that is if Modric stays, After that a right back and they´re set to have a go at 4th 3rd 2nd 1st

  10. David

    June 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I think Spurs will be cashing in on Modric. Spurs are in the driving seat as Modric has a long-term contract. Therefore they don’t have to worry about any risk of losing him in a year or two if they don’t sell now. But I think Spurs will sell now while his value is quite high.

    Liverpool paying around 20 million pounds for Henderson means Modric will be sold for no less than 30-35 million. I can’t see why Spurs would take anything less. I wouldn’t be surprised if Manchester City don’t buy him for 25 – 30 million plus a player (they have lots of players for Spurs to choose from, Barry, Milner, to name a couple). City will also be able to pay Modric more wages. If City go in with a decent offer I can see Modric going there.

  11. Andrew

    June 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    regardless of goals or assist just his vision and precision of passing make him a cut above any centre m/f of any of the teams that want him, think carrick, anderson, gibson, park, de jong, barry, milner, essien, obe mikel even lampard. he is 1 of the top 3 centre midfielders in country along with gerrard (when fit) and fabregas, if henderson is worth 20m start the bidding for modders minimum 40m.

  12. Junior

    June 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    With all the attention that Modric is getting and how important he is to a lot of clubs, you know it’s inevitable that he will be injured for most of the season and therefore will be a non-factor. These things always happen.

    I honestly think that Spurs have come to the conclusion that without major acquisitions they are not likely to be in the hunt for a Champions League spot. Manchester City are not going to drop out of the top 4 anytime soon with their buying power. Liverpool are also buying although one could question if those buys will reap rewards now or in the future. Still Liverpool right now seem stronger than Spurs. So if any team is going to displace one of the present top 4 teams it is most likely to be Liverpool. Therefore Spurs might as well cash in on Modric now while his valuation is high. Scott Parker will be his most likely replacement but I don’t think he will have as big an impact as Modric.

    • Andrew

      June 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      yes liverpool are that much stronger than spurs at the moment that they were unbeaten for about 5 or 6 games scoring 22-25 goals in the process at end of season and then we smashed them 2-0 at anfield 4 1st time in 20 years won at arsenal away ditto robbed away at chelsea by keeper and moody ref and lost 2 city curtisy of crouch og. 14 draws in all, if 5 acould av been turned into wins (remembering our strikers scored 17 league goals between them) we would have finished 2nd. all top 4 need or going for 4 or 5 new players, spurs need 3 max if we can keep main players, trust me spurs aint that far away.

  13. trickybrkn

    June 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Just curious but why is Nolan signing for WHU,”really weird transfers that make everyone question how things happen”?

    • Mark

      June 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      because this blog is written by people who dont know what they are talking about. They say absurd things all the time

  14. cam5131

    June 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    If a team is so desperate to add a player that they’ll grossly overpay for Modric, then Spurs should sell. I’d rather see Bale go, but if Chelsea, Man Utd, or City want him that badly, they can have him. Barca will still be ahead of these EPL sides by a great margin.

  15. Nate

    June 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    As a Croatian-American and a Chelsea fan since 96′ signing Modric would be an absolute deream come true. He is the best player for HNS as well as Tottenham. He’s gotta be 5 foot 2 tops but he is incredibly difficult to know off the ball, he has pace with the ball, vision, and serves strikers goals on a plate. This article is spot on, wherever he ends up could be a key to the title race.

  16. gallantguy

    June 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Spurs should keep him if they like but keeping him is never a grantee that spurs will finish among the top four next season….impossible.

  17. Svavar

    June 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    If someone wants to buy one of the best creative midfielders in the world, who´s on a 6 year contract and has said on said on more than 1 occasion that he is not looking to move unless the club wants to sell, and they don´t, they are going to have to pay over the odds for the club even to entertain an offer.

    • MUFC77

      June 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      Thats exactly my point why pay over the odds for a player when you can possibly find a cheaper and potentially just as good player from another European team.

      • Matt

        June 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm

        I don’t think there are a lot of luka modric’s in the world. if you think you can just ship in some random CM from italy or france and he will be even half what luka is you are insane. at 35m, he would be a steal considering the state of the market now, with the carroll, torres, henderson, and jones deals being so preposterous.

        • MUFC77

          June 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm

          Why pay 30-35 million for Modric when Nasri is out out contract in 1 year and can sign a pre contract with another team in 6 months. An offer of 20 million should be enough to tempt Arsenal instead of losing him for free in 6 months time. The point is Modric is good but not worth the money they are allegedly talking about in the papers in my opinion.

  18. Svavar

    June 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    2010/2011 Xavi Hernandéz got 3 goals 7 assists for Barcelona, in the league, is he over hyped? my point being you can´t just watch highlights and stats, Modric & Xavi are the types of players who dictate play and move the ball around, releasing the likes of Messi,Iniesta,Villa/Bale,Van der Vaart,Lennon. goals and assists are a welcome bonus but not their main focus

    • MUFC77

      June 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Like i said hes a good player but at 30+ million for me he needs to do more than just “move the ball around” we already have players that can keep possession and bring others into the game. Maybe his goals and assists will improve at a bigger club with more experienced players around him. UTd need a creative midfielder whos going to dictate play AND chip in with 10+ goals a season like Scholes used to to.

      My only concern is the money they are allegedly asking for him.

  19. MUFC77

    June 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Maybe its just me but while hes a good player I think hes somewhat over hyped. He would be great in the Utd midfield but not for the stupid money Spurs are looking for him. 53 league games in the last two seasons with only 6 goals and 5 assist isnt exactly great stats. I wouldn’t pay more than 25m for him and even then id be concerned paying that much.

    • Rob McCluskey

      June 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      I agree. He is a great player and links up really well, but Alberto Aquilani had more assists with Liverpool (6 since 2009) and he got slated. The pricing of him is riduculous, as is that of many players this season. Phil Jones shouldn’t cost £20m. Jordan Henderson shouldn’t cost £18m. Fernando Torres should never of cost £50m. English clubs really are getting out of hand with their valuations now, it needs to be curved.

      • MennoDaddy

        June 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm

        To be fair to Luka, he’d have a lot more assists if Spurs had strikers that could actually finish…

        • MUFC77

          June 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm

          Yeah that crossed my mind as well. Its hard to say what will happen, 6 months ago Bale was the person everyone was supposedly after for ridiculous money now nobody is even mentioning him.

  20. Guy

    June 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Svavar & Pearcie…..agreed.

    If Spurs are a serious club and Modric is that good, how could they possibly consider selling him at any price? There’s someone available that fits the club better?—-and how would anyone know? To me, selling Modric would be a tremendous gamble with little upside for Spurs. Might as well wave the white flag to the rest of the big boys….especially if you sell him to one of them.

  21. Realist

    June 17, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Levy should reiterate that Modric is not for sale and further state,he will not even dignify any offers with a response. Just don’t offer any response and treat the offers with th contempt they deserve. Modric is likely to remain happ at the club for another season at least.Only response should an automated replyto the vultures, “what part of not for sale don’t you understand”

  22. Pearcie

    June 17, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I think Spurs MUST reject any, and i mean any, offer that comes in for Luka this summer as a signal of intent by Levy. If we are bullied into selling one of our prized assets yet again by the “big boys” because of their endless wealth, tottenham will never break out of the feeder club mentality. To progress as a club we need to keep players like Luka who inturn attract players of a similar calibre to the club.

  23. Svavar

    June 17, 2011 at 11:04 am

    He´s not going anywhere for 35 million, if he goes anywhere it´s not going to a rival club in England and its going to be closer to 45 – 50 million pounds, selling him to Chelsea, Man utd or Man city would be throwing in the towel and saying Tottenham don´t want to fight for titles and a place in the champions league.

  24. blue

    June 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

    hey dont flame me for this but , a blues fan, i think 35 m is a bit expensive for him. i know that we paid 50 m for toress , but that was a mistake. i think chelsea shuld stop at 29-30 m . i personally think nasri is really good esp if he is going for as low as 15m. i rate nasri as better than modric. we should also give more chances to youngsters like sturridge and kakuta unstead of just buying big players. we could also go for cheaper alternatives like banega or hamsik

  25. TJ

    June 17, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I am a huge Spurs fan and I absolutely love watching Luka play. He was our best player for large stretches of last season. I would certainly prefer to keep Luka on our roster and be able to watch him next season. Add in a couple of strikers, a semi-healthy Ledley King, healthy Bale, BAE and Huddlestone plus the young Walker and Rose joining the fray and we will be in the top four.

    However, if a team offers $40 million for Luka, I think Spurs would have a very hard time turning it down. It would be ideal to sell him to a club in Italy or Spain so it wouldn’t be helping one of our chief rivals. I would be okay selling Luka for a ridiculous price if we reinvested that money into the club by buying a couple of great young strikers and then bring in another young midfielder that could be somewhat similar to Modric. For now, I believe Harry though, “Luka is not for sale.” That could change but he is with Spurs until we hear otherwise.

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