Belfast Telegraph

Modric missing as Madrid move nears

Luka Modric was a notable absentee from Tottenham's training ground as his transfer to Real Madrid appeared to move closer to completion.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said that he expected Modric at the club's training ground on Thursday, but Press Association Sport understands the Croatian did not turn up.

There is nothing to suggest that the playmaker has rebelled against his employers, and although Tottenham would not confirm it, reports suggested the former Dinamo Zagreb man is in the Spanish capital undergoing a medical. "I think we will have a conclusion in the next couple of weeks," Villas-Boas said at noon.

Modric, who was fined and forced to train on his own after refusing to go on tour with Tottenham, now looks set to get his dream move after Villas-Boas confirmed that talks between both sides over of a deal worth around £30million were going well.

Villas-Boas added: "He is still a Tottenham player but from what the chairman has told me talks are ongoing, they stalled a little bit two weeks ago, but they have picked up recently."

For the second season running Spurs have had to deal with Modric demanding to leave the club, but Villas-Boas hopes the player's exit will be finalised soon to leave him to be able to concentrate on his Tottenham bow at Newcastle on Saturday.

"This is not a distraction," Villas-Boas told a press conference. "We set out a plan for the player and we have stuck to it. The player is training individually and he doesn't disrupt our environment."

Villas-Boas would like the situation resolved as soon as possible so he can use the funds to buy a replacement for Modric and bulk up a squad that currently has only one recognised striker in Jermain Defoe.

"Obviously we have outlined a couple of solutions (for a Modric replacement)," Villas-Boas added.

"We have made initial contact with a couple of clubs but I think before this situation is resolved we can't do anything because we already have a certain amount of players in that position."

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