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Chelsea FC Transfer News: Luka Modric Hands In Transfer Request

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Well, Luka Modric obviously read my seven steps to escape White Hart Lane piece. He wants - quite desperately, apparently - to join Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur are rather loathe to let him go. Having already completed step one of the Plan, he's moved on to step the second: Handing in a transfer request. This is all per that wonderful, infallible source known as the Guardian's Twitter feed:

Luka Modric has handed in a transfer request. More to follow... #thfcless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Alright. I think we all knew that this was coming, but it's still not exactly sure what this means. Harry Redknapp did say yesterday that a formal transfer request wouldn't change a thing, after all, so we should probably take him at his word. This is helpful only insofar is that the path this transfer's taken to date is decidedly in Chelsea's favour, and therefore being surprised by anything that happens would be bad for us.

One question I do have is what a transfer request actually does. A request clearly doesn't force a team to sell a player - it's an escalation tactic used by someone wanting to move on rather than anything legally binding (I think?). But escalation requires something to escalate too. So it has some perceived power, else we wouldn't be talking about it, but very little actual power, else Modric would be at Stamford Bridge by now, whisked away by the transfer request fairies.

I mean, how exactly was this supposed to work? Was this the plan?

Modric: I want to leave for Chelsea!
Levy: No.
Modric: But Daniel, you said I could in Dubrovnik!
Levy: Negatory.

(days pass)

Modric: I officially want to leave for Chelsea!
Levy: Unaffirmative.
Modric: (brandishes paper)
Levy: I'll call a cab for Stamford Bridge right away!

That doesn't seem particularly sensible to me. Maybe I'm just stupid.