It's a war of words between Luka Modric and Daniel Levy and it can still take on another twist and turn if action is taken as the next form of attack. But we've been promised no such undertaking from agent and player with regards to a transfer request. The words at play appear to be slow brooding monsters which wont truly pack a punch until they are backed up with substance. The trouble is, such substance would constitute an action that would possibly push this saga to the point of no return with any chance of a reconcile left bloody and lifeless on the dirty floor.
At this point it's hard to guess which of the two will be holding the shovel, digging the shallow grave. I'm going to side-step the necessity to drown myself (and you) in another philosophical dissection and instead just respond to what Modric has said in his most recent comments, post-meeting with Levy. I'll include a caveat. It's just a theory. Again, probably just part of the denial process we're all working our way through.
The caveat is this:
The words from Luka hurt because they are words directed straight at the chairman and at the club and appear to be pretty much final in terms of where his preference for football resides. Now regardless of whether these are actual words straight from the horses mouth or are in fact via the mouth of whom mounts said horse is neither here or there because the agent is protecting his clients best interests. Or at the very least advising client of what his best interests should be.
Note how quiet the agent is. Not too many quotables from him. All the sulking and disparaging remarks are from Luka. The victim. The one chained to a drain pipe in the basement. I'll get to the details below, but I'm wondering if victim Luka has been advised that the only way out is to engineer a sh*tstorm via relentless insubordination. Scrap relentless. It's more akin to a crying child that refuses to go to bed, ignoring his father and the belt he holds firm in his hands.
If there was no gentleman's agreement then perhaps a half-truth distorted to create the illusion of a broken promise? The fact is, how desperate is the player to leave Tottenham? If he's that desperate and hard done by, hand in a transfer request and go on strike. If this is a matter of honour (not to go back on your word) and handing in a transfer request is not a possibility and is in fact a point to be made (against Levy's apparent dismissiveness of the aforementioned broken agreement) then how about extending that honour to include the six year contract signed at the time?
I don't believe there's any prolonged tapping up at play. Chelsea have told the player they want him. They've done their bit. Light the match, watch the fire spread.
So unless this is a slowly orchestrated attempt to gradually force the club to sell up, I hardly see any point in all the crying from the Croatian. Because it won't be enough. He (along with agent) know there is no way out of this. They have quite possibly even accepted it. No legal clause, no leg to stand on. Massively long contract. Other clubs have stood their ground. Why should we be condemned for doing the same thing? He's our player. He should have thought about the challenges ahead for Spurs in terms of fighting to cement a top four place for more than just a cameo.
So all they can do is make biting remarks and point fingers about how unfair things are. As cited, if you mean it, then push us a little more to see the type of reaction you'll get.
If Luka had the same length of time left on his contract as Berbatov, then Levy would never have said what he said about this being a closed subject/not for sell/not about the money. Luka loses because of the signature he signed. This is not about loyalty because we know its something only supporters embrace. Luka left his boyhood club to join us, but that was thanks to an accepted transfer bid and agreement between two clubs and the player. He wants to play CL football now and his personal opinion on THFC has changed from this time last season when he was committed. In a blink of an eye things can change.
Until such a day (another move) he should deal with the reality that unless someone breaks a transfer record, we wont entertain it. And even then we probably wont - if you wish to take the chairman's words at face value.
The club > a player
Unhappy footballer aside, this is a statement. If Luka wants to be the sacrificial lamb, that's up to him.
Play out of your skin or be skinned. Over to you Luka.
Lengthy caveat or what? Okay, so I failed to side step drowning in another philosophical dissection. This is my therapy so thanks for listening. I've used The Guardian's article as reference to the translated interview from Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti. My thoughts included below each quote.
> Modric, who said Levy had given a "twisted account" of their meeting at the ground last Wednesday...
Anything can be 'twisted' if you don't happen to agree with it. It's called perception. If you're told something you don't like but it's an unequivocal truth you simply have to take it on the chin. So stop suggesting you've been knocked down to the canvas with a punch below the belt.
> "I reminded the chairman of our gentleman's agreement when we were in Dubrovnik last summer and I agreed a contract extension with Tottenham"Spurs are saying, supposedly, there was no agreement.
You wonder how this played out at the time. Was it part of the formal discussion? Did they sign the contract whilst dining at a restaurant? Few drinks? Perhaps Luka leaned forward, politely asked if the club could listen to any offers with Daniel nodding a yes and a sure. Is that it? Is that the get-out-clause? Is that Levy down on his knees with gun pushed hard to back of head? Levy, the shrewd negotiator agreeing to something doodled on a napkin? Give over. This sounds like nothing more than a seed planted to be refereed back to if required. Which is what agent and player have done.
Considering how content all seemed post-signing of contract, I doubt this was anything other than a whimsical whisper lost over some choice food and wine.
> "At that time, I had an open chat with Levy – that if a bigger club came in with a concrete offer, we would consider it and agree the best solution for all concerned. Now Levy doesn't want to talk to me and said there is no possibility that I can leave Spurs. He threatened me – he said if I didn't accept the club's stance, they would make me sit on the bench or in the stands."
Does a club that advertises season tickets to fans with zero loyalty points constitute a big club? Or is it simply a club with big money? Sorry, low blow. Could not resist.
This is about Champions League and having it every season. Shame on us for attempting to break the already degrading monopoly. Fact is, had we qualified for it again we'd not be talking about Modric to Chelsea. Fact is, had Luka scored a couple of comfortable chances we'd not be talking about Modric to Chelsea. We are owed a lot by both Luka and the rest of the players. Just a couple of home wins in it, that was the difference.
Retaining Modric will mean nothing, not a thing, if we don't consolidate and sign 2/3 top drawer players. The onus is on the chairman here.
As for the rest of this quote. Anyone wish to explain to Luka what 'best solution for all concerned' means? It doesn't mean agreeing a transfer because the player wants one. Chelsea want you Luka? Get on the phone, have a word, tell them to start at £40M.
The threat part is tricky. Levy might well have explained that any player bringing the club and his contract into disrepute would be dealt with in the same manner. Do you see a problem with that? I don't. He can spend the whole season on the bench just to prove a point. A costly one. But he wont spend it there because he'll suck it up and perform for himself and the club.
> "I must say that I am genuinely disappointed about what Levy said to me. He didn't care about what I was telling him. It all only convinced me further that I was right to consider moving on to another club. I hope that eventually he will understand the situation and that we will reach an agreement and go our separate ways in an appropriate manner."
I want to leave Spurs.
Can I leave?
You're in a long term contract, you signed it very recently. Nobody has meet our valuation of you in terms of a transfer bid. And we also wish to retain your services, as per your contract.
I want to leave.
Close the door shut on your way out.
> Levy has a reputation for being a tough negotiator and there is no indication that he will back down. Modric's agent has suggested that his client will not lodge a transfer request to try to force the issue, which points to an impasse unless Chelsea make a substantial bid and Spurs accept there is nothing to be gained from keeping a player against his will.
That last bit is being touted as the probable conclusion. Can you see Levy going back on his words? Apologising that the situation has got to the point where player can no longer be retained? Honestly? Its about making a statement. The chairman's statement states that, no? If other clubs can hold onto a player under a long contract then we have to be seen to do the same. Otherwise, there's no point. Just get rid of Bale now so we're not put through the same saga next season.
Levy has made a stand. He simply can't be seen sitting down.
> "There is no doubt that Chelsea want me – they sent a concrete offer to Tottenham"
Concrete? More like Playdough. If Chelsea want the player, where is the renewed bid? Or is the plan to wait until the last day, with Luka protesting naked outside The Lodge refusing to train, before they table another £22M bid believing we'll do anything to get rid of him, even on the cheap?
Not going to happen. Words are cheap right? It's about actions and ones with substance. We've done our bit. We don't need to do anything else.
> "I know that the new Chelsea boss [André Villas-Boas] said he wants me in his team. Of course I am flattered by this interest in me – it's a club that all players dream of joining, fighting for every competition available."
Sorry what? Where? Did I miss this? Stinks of agent propaganda. No offence to Chelsea but 5-10 years ago players had never even heard of them. If you're going to leave, grow a set of balls, and let the missus know there is more than just London. Because that's the crux of it, isn't it? Head turned by CL (fair enough) only destination is Chelsea. Because anyone else would wish to perhaps aim slightly higher if they wished to jump from a small club like Spurs.
Yes footballers have short careers and there's no wage cap so why not jump ship and go elsewhere and be given CL football without the concerns of having to chase it and then triple or even quadruple your earnings? All with the added bonus of elevating your stature in terms of exposure to continued top class football and silverware.
Clubs will continue to lose out to players. We'll continue to lose out, forever an easy access stepping stone. We have no choice but to make a stand. It's up to anyone wishing to employ Modric to call our bluff.
Modric will not sit on the bench. He'll play. All just empty threats to force us to give in and get rid. Hand in a transfer request. Make a genuine concrete bid for the player. Otherwise, just f*** off and shut up.