One of the stars of Sky Sports News in recent weeks has been Harry Redknapp. The Spurs boss is never shy of giving his thoughts at the best of times and the man who doesn’t like being called a “wheeler-dealer” has been front and centre chatting away about the future of want-away midfielder Luka Modric.
The latest interview with Redknapp, and there may well be a new one in the coming hours, came on Monday afternoon as he came out the Tottenham training ground to speak to the waiting Sky cameras.
Spurs fans must be pulling their hair out whenever Redknapp comes on screen, since whilst he always consistently denies that Modric will be sold during the summer transfer window, ‘Arry always then questions the reported Chelsea bids for the Croatian schemer.
Yesterday, Redknapp said 22 million pounds was “a joke” bid from Chelsea. When pushed on whether Spurs could sell Modric, the former West Ham and Portsmouth boss then says “its up to the chairman,” before going on to describe the lure of joining Chelsea – e.g. “doubling or trebling his wages.”
To put it bluntly, why does Harry Redknapp talk of Luka Modric’s value if he isn’t for sale?
The latest bid offered by Chelsea, now even more desperate for the Croatian after Michael Essien’s injury, is reportedly 27 million pounds – will Redknapp call this bid “a joke” as well, or say “it is closer to his market value, but still not enough?”
On the other side of North London for example, Arsene Wenger has been pretty clear not to talk of how much Cesc Fabregas is worth, presumably this has been done behind closed doors with Barcelona.
The “Modric saga” highlights what manyÂ believeÂ to be a far from smooth working relationship between Levy and Redknapp. Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that we were reading how the Spurs chairman had to warn Chelsea from poaching their manager.
For the first time in his career, Redknapp has not been in direct control of transfers at Tottenham. As a result, Levy has had some big successes in the transfer market (e.g. Rafael van der Vaart in the final minute of the 2010 summer window) as well as failures. Trawling round La Liga clubs for big name strikers and failing to bring in a hitman last January was a major factor behind their lack of Champions League football in 2011/2012.
Redknapp may well be playing his chairman over Luka Modric, knowing full well that Levy has staked his reputation on keeping the Croatian at White Hart Lane and that his own tax evasion court case is imminent – potentially putting his job at Spurs in jeopardy.
Another theory is that Redknapp knows he cannot keep an unhappy player, would rather invest a quarter of the Luka Modric fee in Scott Parker and fancies his chances next season with the West Ham midfielder along with Tom Huddlestone and Sandro available in the middle of the park.
After all, for Harry Redknapp 2011/2012 is all about keeping his head above water and securing the England job when Fabio Capello departs. A fifth or sixth placed finish in the Premier League and a cup run should be more thanÂ sufficientÂ and the media will do the rest.
We are constantly told just what a big summer this is for Spurs without Champions League football. But, on the evidence so far, it is wages players are most concerned about, rather than appearing in Europe’s premier competition. Redknapp knows as much and is planning for the day after Luka Modric.
Tottenham fans won’t want to stomach this fact, but just like Chris Waddle, Paul Gascoigne, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick and plenty others before Modric – it looks like they will resume their role as a “selling club.”
So, don’t be surprised when next summer’s Spurs transfer saga surrounds how much compensation Daniel Levy can get from the Football Association for luring his manager to the top job in the country.