Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has told Chelsea that highly-rated midfielder Luka Modric is not for sale at any price.
Spurs are reported to have turned down a £22 million bid for Modric during the week, but the 25-year-old has since made it clear that he would be interested in a move to Stamford Bridge in order to secure Champions League football.
‘It's a short period [your career] and you want to fulfil your personal ambitions as a football player, win trophies, play Champions League football every year,’ Modric told the Daily Mail during the week. ‘I would like to play in it this year – it's going to be difficult to play without the Champions League.’
However, in a statement on the Spurs website Levy chastised Chelsea for making their interest in Modric public before underlining that the North London club would not be selling any of their star players this summer.
‘I wish to make it absolutely clear, as I have said previously, that none of our key players will be sold this summer. We are building a team for the future to consistently play at the highest level and retaining quality players is crucial to that.’
‘In respect of Luka Modric, we are not prepared to sell, at any price, to Chelsea or any other club. We made our stance on this issue abundantly clear in writing to Chelsea. They chose to ignore it and then subsequently made the offer public.’
Speaking to TalkSport yesterday, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp backed his chairman but added that Levy now risked ridicule if Modric is sold to another club this summer.
‘The chairman has made a statement,’ Redknapp said. ‘He can't backtrack on that. He means that - I know he means that. Luka's not going. Daniel has made that statement - he can't come out and suddenly sell him. Everyone will go, What's the use of listening to what he says?’
Redknapp continued by making it clear that a club which has serious Champions League and title ambitions cannot afford to sell its best players every couple of years.
‘If we sell Modric where are we going as a football club? We'll have to accept that we're a middle-of-the-table team. That's not what the chairman wants. It's not what I want. It's not, most importantly, what the fans want.’
‘You've got to keep your best players. I don't see Liverpool wanting to sell Steven Gerrard or Chelsea wanting to sell Frank Lampard, John Terry or any of their top players. Arsenal don't want to sell [Samir] Nasri so you've got to keep your best players if you want to be successful.’
Redknapp then addressed the Modric situation directly: ‘He's such a great player for us we just don't want to lose him. He's a great guy, top-class boy and obviously his head's been turned a little bit by the fact that he's wanted by all these clubs and he could probably go and get a fantastic contract.’
‘It's difficult but we certainly don't want to lose him. Daniel's made the statement and I'm sure he's determined to stand by what he's said.’
Modric still has five years left on his current contract with Tottenham but after making it clear that he would be willing to jump ship to London rivals Chelsea, Redknapp is facing a difficult summer which will test his much feted man-management skills to their limits.