Belfast Telegraph

Redknapp urges Modric to focus

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp hopes Luka Modric will soon be back to his best after managing to hold on to the playmaker despite strong interest from Chelsea this summer.

Spurs fans breathed a huge sigh of relief at 11pm on Wednesday as the transfer deadline passed without Modric moving across the capital to the Blues, as not even a £40million offer from Roman Abramovich could prevent Spurs chairman Daniel Levy from altering the tough 'not for sale' stance he has held all summer over Modric.

And despite the Croatian clearly stating he wanted to move to Stamford Bridge, Redknapp is hoping the player will knuckle down, telling the club's website: "I am delighted that Luka Modric is still here. The chairman stood firm and I hope he will go on to have a great season for us."

He added: "We are strong in the middle of the park now. Scott Parker has arrived, Sandro is getting fit and we also have Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore."

Parker completed his protracted move to White Hart Lane on Wednesday in a deal thought to be worth £6million. His capture could prove to be one of the signings of the summer if he is able to recreate the kind of form that saw him win the Football Writers' Association player of the year award last season.

"It is great to have both of last year's footballers of the year here at Tottenham in Gareth Bale, who was the PFA Player of the Year, and now Scott Parker," Redknapp said.

"Scott is exactly what we need. He is a good character and an excellent professional with a great attitude. He will be fantastic for us both on and off the pitch."

Emmanuel Adebayor and Brad Friedel were the other two main signings at the club this summer, with Levy heavily focused on selling the fringe players who have stagnated at the club over the last 12 months.

Alan Hutton and Jermaine Jenas both joined Aston Villa, David Bentley moved to West Ham on loan and Wilson Palacios was sold to Stoke along with Peter Crouch, who was a surprise exit from the club.

"We have had to reduce our number of players to get them all in our 25-man playing squad. It was difficult and we wish those leaving well," Redknapp added. "We are looking forward to the rest of the season now. We have got a good squad and it is going to be exciting."

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