Luka Modric flies out for Spurs pre-season tour despite Chelsea interest

13 July 2011 05:56
Want-away playmaker Luka Modric has stuck to his word and flown to South Africa with his team-mates for Tottenham's pre-season tour.

Modric has been at the centre of a month-long tug of war between his current employers and their London rivals Chelsea, who have made unsuccessful bids of ?22million and ?27m for the 25-year-old.

Modric has repeatedly stated that he is determined to complete a 'dream' move to Stamford Bridge and even took the extraordinary step of criticising chairman Daniel Levy to try to push through a deal.

Back for good? Luka Modric (right) returned to training with the rest of the Tottenham squad this week

Spurs have remained steadfast in their approach to keeping the player though, and as a result Modric is now heading to Johannesburg with the rest of his team-mates for the 10-day tour of the country.

Manager Harry Redknapp admits his star midfielder was 'confused' about his future upon his return to training, but fully expects Modric to take part in the club's fixtures against Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

The 64-year-old has praised Modric's professional attitude throughout the whole transfer saga and hopes that the time away from London will help take the focus off the player.

Redknapp said: 'Hopefully he will go away and get a bit of football now and just get on with it. We hope that he will come back and get ready for the new season.'

Should I stay or should I go? Modric is 'confused' about his future, says boss Harry Redknapp

William Gallas has not travelled with the squad due to a calf problem and Ledley King and Sandro are both out with knee injuries.

Sandro will report to the club's training ground on Thursday to be assessed after the Brazilian Football Federation sent him home from the Copa America amid fears that he had torn the meniscus in his knee.

Steven Pienaar would be one of the players who would benefit most from Modric's departure, but he said this afternoon that he hopes the former Dinamo Zagreb man stays.

'You are always looking to strengthen and for us it's important that we all stick together as a team and make the most of it,' Pienaar told Sky Sports News.

Next in line: Steven Pienaar (left) could find himself Spurs' main playmaker if Modric departs

Tottenham play Kaizer Chiefs on Saturdayand they then take on Orlando Pirates on Tuesday before playing the winner of a play-off between the two home teams on July 23.

Pienaar is excited about playing in his homeland and having the chance to put his fitness problems behind him having been troubled by knee and groin injuries last term.

'I am looking forward to the tour,' the former Everton man said. 'I have had a lot of ups and downs in my first few months at the club but hopefully I can put it behind me now.

'I am almost there with my fitness. I'm still working on it. Hopefully I will get a game.'

Captain Michael Dawson, meanwhile, has reacted angrily to claims that he has fallen out with the club's hierarchy over a new contract. Reports this morning suggested that Dawson was unhappy at the Spurs' refusal to offer him an improved deal, but he insists he is completely happy at the club.

No trouble here: Michael Dawson insists he is completely happy at Spurs and has not fallen out with the club

'I have no idea where this story has come from - it certainly has not come from myself or any of my representatives,' Dawson said. '"I think I have always demonstrated that I am a proud player and captain of this club and nothing has changed in that respect.

'I have an excellent relationship with everyone at this club from the chairman, to the players to the supporters and I wouldn't want false reporting such as this to impact on that.

'There has been absolutely no fallout with anyone whatsoever. I still have four years left on my current contract and have no issues regarding it whatsoever.

'It is an honour to be captain of this football club and my sole focus is on getting ready for the new season with Spurs and, hopefully, England as well.'

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Source: Daily_Mail