Belfast Telegraph

Spurs must not sell stars - Redknapp

Tottenham will be "finished" if they start offloading top players such as Luka Modric this summer, according to manager Harry Redknapp.

The north London club fought ferociously with Chelsea to hang on to the Croatian last summer and the playmaker looks set to be at the centre of another transfer saga, with Manchester City and Paris St Germain linked with the player.

Spurs reluctantly sold Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick to Manchester United but Redknapp insists Modric, 26, must stay to prevent the club from sliding into obscurity. He said: "Once you start selling your best players you're finished. I don't know why Tottenham should be seen as a club that will sell its best players."

He added: "We are not looking to sell our best players. We are looking to build a team here, not dismantle. The chairman (Daniel Levy) made a stance with Modric last year - the stance was that we are looking to build, to add to the group we've got and improve for next year, not to go backwards.

"If we go backwards, we're going nowhere basically are we? We will slump back into mid-table mediocrity and we don't want that."

Modric's future is of particular concern. He fell out with Levy after he rejected his transfer request and talks between the two over a new deal have stalled. The player underlined his importance to the club with a blistering strike in Tottenham's 4-1 win at Bolton and Redknapp claims the midfielder is irreplaceable.

He said: "He's just a fantastic player, a great professional and a top bloke, so you want him here. He's right up there with the better players in the world. You can't replace him. You wouldn't be able to replace him with somebody as good. That's why the other clubs want to buy him - because he is worth the money. But we don't want to sell him."

"We've got to keep all the best players and add to them if we're going to keep progressing."

Redknapp's future has come under the spotlight in the last four months after he was tipped to leave Spurs to take the England manager's job but that role was awarded to Roy Hodgson's this week. The Spurs boss is not concerned about signing an extension to his current deal which expires next summer.

"I have never spoken to anyone about a contract," the 65-year-old said. "I have not chased Daniel (Levy), and he doesn't have to chase me. I have a contract here still at the moment so there is no problem."

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