Croatian midfielder Luka Modric has been left out of the Tottenham Hotspur squad to face Hearts in Europa League qualifying action on Tuesday. Naturally, this has led to... some speculation about his future, because Modric not playing now would mean he's not cup-tied (sort of) for potential Champions League action later:
Modric left out by Spurs for Europa League game with Hearts. I think we all know how this particular tale is going to end..
Well, when I say sort of, it sort of merits some clarification, so here goes. Playing in the Europa league doesn't necessarily mean that one can't play in the Champions League later with a different team, or else Fernando Torres wouldn't have been able to play for Chelsea in the knockout stages last year, because Liverpool played in Europa. However, only one player on a Champions League team can have been active in the Europa league with a different side. Hence this move 'sort of' preventing Luka Modric being cup-tied.
That's kind of weak, though - I can't imagine that Spurs would be so careful about not upsetting Chelsea here that they'd shy away from making the Blues' potential January roster slightly more difficult to manage. It's not like they're not fairly grumpy with the team already. It seems more likely to me that Modric does indeed have some sort of groin injury, although Tottenham are so opaque with their injury reporting that really it could be anything, so maybe Dan's right.
Anyway, this is interesting, but I'm not sure what it actually means in terms of a transfer. Right now, I'm going with 'not much'.