Luka Modric accepted an invitation to join the Four Horsemen this weekend. His first act, I'm happy to report, was to reiterate his desire to take up residence at Chelsea. And, yeah, lambaste Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in the process.
Soap Opera status. This should get even more interesting now, eh?
So, yeah, Luka's gone and got himself in the papers again. Nearly a month since his initial public declaration to move on to greener pastures, the Croatian has returned to print media to voice his dismay at Levy's so-called "twisted account" of their meeting last week in London.
Levy said last week that Modric understood the situation: that he was to remain at Tottenham regardless of whatever interest there was from other clubs, namely us. Note that Levy didn't say Modric was happy with this decision, just that he understood Spurs' stance. Well, 'Arry followed that up, no doubt to the chagrin of Tottenham supporters, by saying Modric was a bit confused heading into preseason training.
Confused? After reading these new quotes, initially published in Zagreb-based daily Sportske novosti, I'd reckon Modric knows exactly what he wants. And it's not to stay at Spurs.
"I reminded the chairman of our gentleman's agreement when we were in Dubrovnik last summer and I agreed a contract extension with Tottenham," Modric is quoted as saying. "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.
"A lot has been published in the press about the meeting with Levy, who gave the public a twisted account of what happened. 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.
"There is no doubt that Chelsea want me – they sent a concrete offer to Tottenham. 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."
The man's going in, Ric Flair style. You have to love it.
Levy is notoriously difficult to negotiate with, to the good of his club it must be said. Nevertheless, you have to wonder how long he can allow this to drag on. Sure, Spurs will say there was no gentleman's agreement, but you would think you can't simply throw Modric out there and expect the team to be able to sweep this ordeal under the rug. The idea of letting him rot in the reserves is nonsense, too. It all leads back to this: all Levy is attempting to do is wipe his hands of this. Deflect all criticism toward the player so that when he leaves it reflects poorly on him and now the club.
If I were a betting man, which I'm not, I'd reckon this deal gets down before the end of the month, perhaps sooner. Spurs will need a replacement after all; actually, that's a must.
Is this situation similar to the Berbatov sitcom? In a sense, yes. But, unlike Berbatov who only had one year remaining on his deal I think, we must remember that Modric is on a long-term contract at Spurs, which makes this one a very different animal. No worry, though. Roman has the resources to make it happen.
Sportske novosti has also thrown out the idea that Spurs are interested in requesting Sturridge, Mikel and Alex in any deal for Modric. Now that is laughable. I guess we'll just have to wait it out to see what happens, just as we have all summer.
Offer your thoughts on this latest development in the comments below. Until the next time, trust in AVB. And free Modric.