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Redknapp welcomes tour distraction


Luka Modric

Luka Modric

Luka Modric

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp hopes the club's pre-season tour of South Africa will help shift the focus away from Luka Modric's stand-off with the club over a move to Chelsea.

Modric and the rest of his Spurs team-mates departed for Johannesburg just days after the Croatian repeated his desire to move to Stamford Bridge in an explosive interview in which he also strongly criticised club chairman Daniel Levy.

Redknapp said: "Hopefully he will go away and get a bit of football now and just get on with it. We hope that he will come back and get ready for the new season."

Modric has been at the centre of a month-long tug-of-war between his employers and the Blues, who have made unsuccessful bids of £22million and £27million for the 25-year-old.

Redknapp admitted last week his star playmaker was "confused" about his future, but fully expects Modric to take part in Saturday's friendly against Kaizer Chiefs and the other two games that they will play on the 10-day tour.

Modric's advisers were keeping tight-lipped about their client's next move on Wednesday, but it is clear that Redknapp hopes that moving the player away from London for the next week and a half will help aid their attempt to keep hold of him.

Spurs will find out on Thursday how long Sandro will be out for having suffered a suspected meniscus tear in his knee while on international duty with Brazil earlier this week. The midfielder is due to be assessed at Tottenham's Chigwell training ground, where William Gallas is also having treatment on a calf injury that ruled him out of the trip to South Africa.

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Spurs take on Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday afternoon and then face Orlando Pirates before playing the winner of a play-off between the two home sides on July 23.

Steven Pienaar, who was born in the Johannesburg area where the two teams are from, is excited about playing in his homeland and having the chance to put his fitness problems behind him having been troubled by knee and groin injuries last term.

"I am looking forward to the tour," the former Everton man said. "I have had a lot of ups and downs in my first few months at the club but hopefully I can put it behind me now. I am almost there with my fitness. I'm still working on it. Hopefully I will get a game."

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