As Andre Villas Boas prepares to crash land at White Hart Lane on July 1st, the rumour-mill is whizzing overtime peddling the following transfer equation:
Nuri Sahin (Real Madrid) + £30m = Luka Modric (Tottenham)
Luka Modric is leaving Tottenham after the Lilywhites were usurped from next season’s Champions League by Chelsea, and Real Madrid have been widely reported as front-runners for the Croatian’s signature. At the same time, Nuri Sahin has been mooted as a player available at the Santiago Bernabeu to help force the deal through.
Sahin’s presumed availability stems from a difficult first season in Spain for the Turk. Signed from Borussia Dortmund for €10 million last summer, the 23-year-old picked up a knee injury during last pre-season 2011, and that setback restricted him to only ten appearances last campaign. That disparate involvement, combined with the fact that Real hardly missed Sahin as they won La Liga, has fuelled belief that he is surplus to requirements by Jose Mourinho.
Whether that assumption holds up over time, however, remains a completely different matter altogether.
One season on the sidelines has not dampened belief that Nuri Sahin is a world-class box-to-box midfielder. At Dortmund Sahin matured into the heartbeat of Germany’s best and most attractive team. Playing as one of two holding midfielders, he helped set the tempo whilst pitching in with the odd sublime goal or two. Accordingly, it’s easy to understand why Tottenham (and chairman Daniel Levy in particular) would love to get Sahin’s signature attached to any deal for Modric.
If we were to bet on it, though, our hunch is that Sahin will stay put in Spain. It’s difficult to believe that the Special One has changed his mind on Sahin just because of last summer’s injury, and moreover it’s difficult to belief that Real would sell him for the same money they paid 12 months ago.
Below is a compilation of Nuri Sahin’s 2011-12 Real Madrid highlights:
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