One of the most positive results of this year’s transfer deadline day was Tottenham Hotspur managing to keep hold of Croatian play-maker Luka Modric. To many this can be seen as a victory for football and evidence that player power doesn’t always win.
The Croat had previously admitted his desire to leave the North London club earlier this summer but his request was met with a firm response from Chairman Daniel Levy, the player would not be sold. Chelsea made no secret of the fact that they wished to sign him and had three separate bids rejected by Spurs.
The final bid, according to manager Harry Redknapp, came on the 30th of August and it is believed to have been worth £40m, £30m cash plus Blues defender Alex as part of the deal. Spurs stood firm and again rejected the advances of their London rivals.
Modric made a number of attempts to seal his exit from White Hart Lane and met with Levy more than once to discuss his future. Although the message from the club was clear a number of people, from the media especially thought it near impossible for them to hold on to an unhappy player.
The Croat’s exit seemed even more likely when he asked to be left out of the Spurs squad that travelled north to face champions Manchester United and even Redknapp made comments that indicated his departure could be likely.
More evidence to suggest Modric would be sold was the fact that Spurs had been in a similar situation in August 2008, when Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov sparked a similar sequence of events in an effort to secure his eventual transfer to United. Levy had at first taken the same hard line stance and insisted the player would not leave, but on deadline day he completed a £31m transfer.
Though it seems both Chairman and club have learnt from this and were determined not to lose arguably their best player, and especially not to one of their biggest rivals. The player stated he wanted to play Champions League football, but as manager Redknapp suggested keeping players like Modric will help get them back into Europe’s premier competition.
Similar again to this was Carlos Tevez’s situation at Manchester City, like Modric he had only recently signed a new contract but decided he now wanted to leave the club and yet again most expected him to do so. Like Spurs City stood firm and both players remain at their respective clubs.
Although many will argue that you can’t keep unhappy players this has to be seen as a victory for football as a whole. Players have for too long have been seen as the ones holding the power in the game but the situation of both Modric and Tevez demonstrates that this is not always the case.
Though it remains to be seen how dedicated they will be to the cause this year but for now both clubs have managed to hang on to two of their most prized assets.
Patrick Giffney writes regularly for ThisIsFutbol.com