Belfast Telegraph

No Modric rift - Dawson

Luka Modric has not created a rift within the Tottenham squad by declaring that he wants to join Chelsea, according to Spurs captain Michael Dawson.

Modric is reported to have upped the stakes in his stand-off with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy by handing in a transfer request to force through what he sees as a "dream" move to Chelsea. The Croatian has already infuriated the club's fans by publicly talking up his desire to leave for one of the club's closest rivals.

His repeated public posturing over his unhappiness at White Hart Lane has not made him an enemy within the Tottenham ranks though, Dawson saying: "We are all friends with Luka, we have got great team spirit amongst the players and we want to keep that together."

Spurs were not willing to give any ground in their refusal to sell the star on Thursday as manager Harry Redknapp backed his chairman's hard-line stance, saying: "We know he wants to leave and whether he writes it down on a piece of paper doesn't really make any difference to our stance.

"He's a great player and we don't want to lose him."

The club are hoping that the 10-day tour, which includes two more games against South African opposition, will take the focus away from the tussle for the 25-year-old, who has been the subject of £22million and £27million bids from Chelsea.

Those hopes will be dashed if the Blues return with a bigger offer of between £30-35million before the squad heads back to England a week on Sunday.

Assistant manager Kevin Bond is in charge of the squad until Redknapp arrives in Johannesburg on Sunday when he is expected to hold talks with Modric over his future.

Redknapp has praised Modric's attitude in training since he returned from his summer break and Bond was in a similar mood when talking about the Croatian on Thursday evening.

"Luka has been as good as gold," Bond told Sky Sports News.


From Belfast Telegraph