I managed to miss a whole day of Luka Modric rumours while on a depressingly short holiday at the beach. This means I don't have much idea what's going on, but I do know that Tottenham Hotspur are apparently in talks with their midfielder about improving his contract (which he deserves), and that he did not feature in Spurs' match against Hearts, once again not featuring in the squad.
There were also some fun quotes coming out of Chelsea's camp, where Andre Villas-Boas was being decidedly coy about the prospect of landing the 25-year-old Croatian. As you're all aware, Modric has been linked to the Blues all summer (apart from a brief period of Javier Pastore fever), and absolutely nothing has changed between then and now. Tottenham are in a strop, Modric wants to move, and Chelsea are just going to twiddle their thumbs, ratcheting up a bid until something happens. In fact, they might be willing to wait until the end of the transfer window to get anything done.
I just have to speak to the owner (Roman Abramovich) when this kind of thing happens. When there's an offer, there's a counter-offer and then you reach an agreement. [But] Modric's name is already out too much in the press. Let's leave it. He's Harry Redknapp's player. He's not my player, unfortunately.
It gets pretty frenetic in the last week of the market, and the reality is that, even yesterday, one of the biggest deals in the Premier League was done with (Samir) Nasri leaving Arsenal for Man City.
-Andre Villas-Boas. Source: Sky Sports.
If we play the 'read into everything' game, we can draw a few things out of this, so let's indulge ourselves:
- 'When there's an offer, there's a counter-offer.' That's an awfully optimistic appraisal of the situation by Villas-Boas, because there's no reason to think that Spurs are any closer to selling Modric than when Levy went into a very public strop about the whole affair months ago. Does he know something we don't, or was he just hoping?
- 'He's not my player, unfortunately.' You can pretty easily read this as 'I would like Luka Modric to be my player', if you were so inclined. I don't think AVB would raise much of a fuss if a transfer was pushed through.
- 'It gets pretty frenetic in the last week of the market.' I'd suspect that this means that Chelsea are planning to be going all the way up to the window in a bid to improve their squad, which is slightly strange to me because they had plenty of time to do some buying and selling while they were messing about in Asia. Sky agree with me, which I'm pretty sure should make me less convinced that I'm right.
So, I don't think this is done yet. Progress!