We have already briefly touched on the fact that Tottenham Hotspur midfielder and rumored Chelsea transfer target Luka Modric will not be playing Tottenham's Premier League opening fixture today against Manchester United. According the the Daily Mail Spurs' manager Harry Redknapp believes that the Croatian's isn't mentally prepared for the match.
He's got a little bit of an injury. There's a possibility he could have played through it. But at the moment his head's not in the right place.
The Mail also believes that Tottenham have received a new offer from Chelsea for the services of Modric, one believe to be in the neighborhood of £30 million. There is, however, no mention of any player exchanges like we've been hearing rumors of for the past couple of weeks.
Allow me to summarize for you. In an upcoming match against the defending Premier League Champions, not to mention the odds on favorites to win the league again this year, Tottenham Hotspur will be without, arguably, their best player. I doubt this is a situation Redknapp is fond of being in and Spurs' chairman Daniel Levy is probably similarly displeased.The exclusion of Modric from the squad seems to be more about Modric attempting to force the Club's hand than anything else. For some time, at least in late July and earlier this month many of us were convinced that Luka would be staying. Now, here we are with nine days remaining in the the transfer window and Luka is back to trying to force a move.
Perhaps Luka really is injured and feels it is unwise to play in this match or perhaps he's a gigantic wuss who's unwilling to take any sort of risk for a club he doesn't really want to play for. Clearly any sort of injury would decrease the player's chances of moving clubs in this window. Regardless, Modric is still a Tottenham player and should be reminded he ought to be acting like one. Ledley King, for all intents and purposes, has no knees and yet still manages to play every couple of months.
Let's take for example Samir Nasri. The Arsenal midfielder has been the subject of increased transfer speculation recently and a move to Manchester City seems imminent. However, the diminutive Frenchman was conspicuously in Arsene Wenger's side that lost to Liverpool this weekend at the Emirates. Does that signal that Nasri won't be joining City or is it just that, being so injury depleted Wenger knew he had to field the strongest side possible and that meant putting Nasri on the pitch?
Tottenham face similar injury problems, particularly in the center of midfield. Modric's presence there alongside, presumably, Tom Huddlestone would strengthen the side and give Spurs at least a fighting chance at Old Trafford tonight. Instead, it would appear that Modric is making his niggling injury seem worse than it is, perhaps in an effort to undermine Redknapp and Levy, but more likely in an effort to stay healthy for an eventual move to Chelsea.
Redknapp, like Wenger, must feel pressure to field as strong a squad as possible against United, unfortunately he is being hamstrung by Modric's poor attitude. If it were me I would have named Modric in the starting XI. His inclusion, even if he isn't 100% fit or 100% mentally involved would make Tottenham better. I have seen no evidence during the preseason of Modric's disinterest in the game. When he has played he has performed and I don't see any reason why that should change now.
This transfer sage has reached the point where it has become farcical. In early July Kevin wrote that this whole thing was a three act play. Little did we know that it would to turn into some sort of Homeric epic. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm sick of it. If Modric is going to go, then he can go. I almost don't care what Chelsea pay for him anymore. Will Spurs be a better team without Modric, as Harry Redknapp has claimed in the past? Absolutely not, but we'll be rid of this distraction and we can begin moving on.