Another summer, another high profile Spurs player wants out and has well and truly jettisoned the toys from the pram as a result of the chairman’s refusal. It happened with Dimitar Berbatov and it’s now happening with Luka Modric. As a Spurs fan it feels as if it’s become a depressing recurrence however there is, as always, a silver lining.
Modric wants to go to a ‘bigger club’ in order to further his career which is a perfectly understandable aspiration. Unfortunately he, as Berbatov did before him, has conducted himself in a fantastically unprofessional and undignified manner. Telling the press Levy ‘threatened’ him with sitting in the stands and that he’s gone back on a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ poor little Luka, everybody feel sorry for him. It’s a little naive as nothing is definite, Chelsea may not come up with a sufficient bid to pierce Daniel Levy’s resolve and the player may have to tuck his tail firmly between his legs. The more likely outcome however is that Chelsea or another suitor make a large enough bid and off the little Croatian goes, this is where the silver lining comes in. Modric goes and is replaced.
The old cliche that no player is bigger than the team or club is very true in this instance, as good as Modric is he isn’t irreplaceable and when a player’s heart isn’t in it, he’s not worth keeping. Levy must avoid making the same mistake he made with the sale of Berbatov, yes we got a very handsome fee of around £30m but we got it at the death of the transfer window. As a result, we were unable to replace him and were light up front the following season (Manchester United sent us the extraordinarily average Fraizer Campbell on loan as part of the deal which frankly I found insulting). If Modric is to be sold it has to be at least a fortnight before the transfer window closes so we can find an adequate replacement.
What constitutes an adequate replacement for Modric is highly debatable but there are certain requisites: must be about the same age, must be a very good passer of the ball.
In my humble opinion I believe Riccardo Montolivo to be a perfect replacement. He’s 26 years of age, a very talented passer of the ball and is widely thought to be open to moving on from Fiorentina. Also he looks a bit like Luka so we might not even notice he’s gone! Hypocrisy I hear you cry. Not quite. A large proportion of the fans want him out as they feel he has gone back on his commitment to the club by not signing a new contract, with sections of them urging him to remove his captain’s armband during the end-of-season game against Brescia. Conversely you would be hard pressed to find many Spurs fans that ‘want’ to lose Modric. Whether or not he would want to come to Tottenham is another speculative point especially as he recently attracted praise from AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri who said “[Montolivo] is one for the big stages, one of the best Italian midfielders blessed with great skills and athleticism” Although Spurs are an ambitious club in a healthy financial state so have a fair chance of luring him to London
A fee of around £35m may tempt Levy into selling Modric and about half to two thirds of that may be sufficient for La Viola to sell. A replacement, profit and a player who wants to play would be a very nice conclusion to the whole sorry affair.