Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Modric to face Kaizer Chiefs

Luka Modric

Tottenham insist Luka Modric is available to play in Saturday's pre-season friendly against Kaizer Chiefs despite his ongoing battle with the club over a move to Chelsea.

Modric has been at the centre of a tug-of-war between his current employers and the Blues since they lodged a £22million bid for the player a month ago.

An improved offer of £27m and a transfer request from Modric are reported to have followed, but Spurs have remained steadfast in their determination to hold on to their star midfielder and insist he will begin the season as their player.

The Croatia playmaker is reported to have submitted his transfer request on the eve of the club's departure for their pre-season tour of South Africa, but he still travelled with the squad.

The 25-year-old has trained with his team-mates ever since arriving in Johannesburg and is available for selection for the match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, on Saturday afternoon.

Modric has refused to talk to the media since he arrived in South Africa, but there are no indications the transfer saga means he will not give his all on the tour.

Dimitar Berbatov sulked his way through pre-season to speed up a move to Manchester United in 2008, but assistant manager Kevin Bond and captain Michael Dawson have both said Modric has not been affected by the furore surrounding his future while on tour.

The next few days will be crucial in determining Modric's future.

Redknapp is due to fly out to South Africa to meet up with the squad on Sunday and will surely sit down with the Croatian to discuss his future, mindful that having an unhappy player in the ranks could affect team morale ahead of what is a crucial season for the Londoners.

It is also possible that Chelsea could take their bid past the £30m marker ahead of their pre-season tour of the Far East, which begins on Thursday. Back at Tottenham's base in Essex, midfielder Sandro is expected to undergo tests this evening to determine the extent of a knee injury he suffered on international duty on Monday.

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