Redknapp says Tottenham unmoved by Modric 'transfer request'

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric
Modric has scored 12 goals for Spurs since signing in 2008

Manager Harry Redknapp insists Tottenham still do not want to sell Luka Modric amid reports the midfielder has handed in a transfer request.

Redknapp does not know if the Croatian has submitted anything formally, but believes it is irrelevant anyway.

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

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

Tottenham have turned down an improved bid of £27m from Chelsea after their opening bid of £22m was rejected by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

Modric, only 14 months into a six-year Spurs deal, joined the squad on their tour of South Africa on Wednesday.

The London outfit are due to face Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on their mini-tour, and Redknapp is hopeful it will help calm any desire Modric has to leave the club.

"Hopefully he will go away and get a bit of football now and just get on with it," he said.

"We hope that he will come back and get ready for the new season."

Modric reportedly wants to move to Stamford Bridge and claimed in an interview with Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti that Levy had broken a gentleman's agreement struck when he agreed his new deal last summer.

Spurs insist no such arrangement was made, and Levy's stance remains unaltered.

He is determined to ride out any turbulence created by Chelsea's moves and the mood inside White Hart Lane is that their hardline policy will not change even if Roman Abramovich continues to escalate his efforts to sign Modric for new coach Andre Villas-Boas.

Though Modric may have formalised his desire to leave with an official transfer request, despite his representatives insisting last week that he had no plans to do so, Levy is believed to be in no mood to grant that request.

Chelsea's need for midfield reinforcements became more urgent with the news that Michael Essien will be out for up to six months after having surgery on a knee injury suffered in training.

Captain Michael Dawson has backed Levy's tough stance over Modric, but insists the Tottenham players are not angry at the Croatian for declaring that he wants to join Chelsea.

"This time of year there are always going to be rumours and Luka's been linked with Chelsea," Dawson told Sky Sports Newsexternal-link. "From a team's point of view you want to keep your best players and the chairman has come out and said he is going to keep him so that is great for the football club.

"The chairman has come out and said no one is for sale so that's great.

"We are all friends with Luka, we have got great team spirit amongst the players and we want to keep that together."

Dawson, meanwhile, has reacted angrily to claims that he has fallen out with the club's hierarchy over a new contract.

Reports on Wednesday morning suggested that Dawson was unhappy at Spurs' refusal to offer him an improved deal, but he insists he is completely happy at the club.

"I have no idea where this story has come from - it certainly has not come from myself or any of my representatives," Dawson said. "I think I have always demonstrated that I am a proud player and captain of this club and nothing has changed in that respect.

"I have an excellent relationship with everyone at this club from the chairman, to the players to the supporters and I wouldn't want false reporting such as this to impact on that.

"There has been absolutely no fallout with anyone whatsoever. I still have four years left on my current contract and have no issues regarding it. It is an honour to be captain of this football club."

William Gallas is not with the squad in South Africa due to a calf problem, while Ledley King and Sandro are both out with knee injuries.