There's a transfer 'exclusive' at the Daily Mail right now. The writer of the article claims to have spoken to Luka Modric and his agent, and Modric says he wants a transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Chelsea FC. Usually the Daily Mail prints a whole lot of crap, but I don't care if this is exaggerated, or completely fabricated. It seems plausible that Modric would want to leave, and it seems plausible that Chelsea would want to purchase him. And you know what? I don't have a problem with it.
Luka Modric is Tottenham Hotspur's best player, even better than Gareth Bale. He's gone from being a player who was stereotypically classified as undersized and unable to deal with the physical nature of the Premier League to being one of the best players in the league. Last season, he got to play Champions League football. Like any other footballer, he wants to continue to play in that competition.
Modric has no reason to believe that Spurs will make it back to the Champions League next season. He's also terribly underpaid and Tottenham will not be coming close to matching the offer that Chelsea will make him in terms of wages. He came here because we offered Dinamo Zagreb the most money, not because he had some kind of emotional attachment to the club. Above all, I assume that winning trophies is Modric's first priority and making money is his second priority. He will win more trophies and make more money at Chelsea. Why shouldn't he want to leave?
This is Spurs' worst nightmare, but it's one that we should have seen coming. As much as we want to believe we're almost as big of a club as Manchester United and Chelsea, we're not. We're in the same neighborhood as Manchester City and not too far behind Liverpool and Arsenal, but let's be realistic. Tottenham Hotspur are the sixth biggest club in England right now. The gap between them and the top two is very large. At least one of, if not both of the top two are interested in Luka Modric. He is one of the best players in the Premier League, and he will get playing time for both of them.
At this point, this situation is no different than the Michael Carrick situation, other than the fact that Luka Modric is world class while Michael Carrick is just really good. It seemed like a total gutshot to lose him, but we softened the blow by making United pay through the nose. The Berbatov situation wasn't much different. The only difference between Modric and the previous two situations is the escalation in price and the gap in class between the players.
In my opinion, Luka Modric is better than both Carrick and Berbatov. Plus, we have to take inflation into account, as well as the recent sale prices of obviously inferior players Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones. Luka Modric will not be leaving Tottenham Hotspur for £22m, and if he does, Daniel Levy will get more hate mail than his secretaries can handle. Chelsea are going to have to pay at least £30m. They will eventually offer it, and we will eventually accept it, as we should.
Luka Modric is too good for Tottenham Hotspur. Those words might sting some and seriously piss off others, but it's true. We're not finishing in the top four in the next couple of years unless Stan Kroenke is a melter, City's owners pull out, or the Glazer family defaults on their loans. Modric wants to leave because he wants more money and he wants Champions League football. Who are we to stand in his way if an acceptable offer is received?
This sucks a lot. Losing your best player is always hard for a team. However, we have to accept the reality of our situation, get the most money possible for Modric, then use that money to help build a team that will be able to take advantage if one of the three above mentioned catastrophes takes place. Modric is probably about to be made very rich, then win a few trophies.
If I were Luka Modric, I would also ask to leave Tottenham Hotspur for Chelsea. It's the best move for his career, as unfortunate as it is for Tottenham fans.
I'm happy for him, and you should be too.