One of the most protracted transfer sagas of the summer has come to an end, as Tottenham have announced that they have agreed to sell star playmaker Luka Modric to Real Madrid. After tense negotiations between the sides, Spurs have relented in their inflated asking price for the Croatia international, with a deal believed to be worth around £33 million settled upon.
The eastern European midfielder has signed a five-year contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, but in an interesting turn of events Tottenham have revealed that part of the deal is a partnership struck up with Real Madrid, explained by the chairmen of the respective sides.
“Luka has been a terrific player for us and, whilst we preferred not to part with him, we are pleased that it is to Real Madrid, a club with which we now look forward to sharing a long and productive partnership,” Daniel Levy has confessed.
“The strong relationship and affinity between our two clubs has resulted in the cementing of a longer-term partnership and the successful transfer of Luka Modric. We are delighted to welcome Luka and look forward to working closely with Tottenham in the coming years,” Madrid equivalent Florentino Perez added.
Modric flew to Madrid today, and has passed a medical with the news released on the Spanish champions’ website.
“The new player of Real Madrid, Luka Modric, has passed the medical which he has undertaken at the Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja, prior to his signing for the club,” a statement reads.
“The Croatian has passed the different tests that he has taken without any problems.”
A deal looked destined to happen, but in the end it concludes a saga in a favourable manner for all concerned. Modric has made his intention to leave White Hart Lane clear, and has been forced to train in solitude whilst the situation was sorted out. No-one could blame the playmaker for wanting to leave north London, as the best players want to play in the Champions League and to step-out for Jose Mourinho’s men is an opportunity to good to cast away.
For Spurs, although Levy had initially stated that the player would not be sold for less than £40 million, some compromise was needed and Tottenham have redeemed double what they paid for Modric back in 2008. The pain for the White Hart Lane faithful of their star player moving to Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford has been avoided, and the club now must get on with life after Modric. Villas-Boas will surely be backed with the money to buy a replacement, although he must work fast with the window closing at the end of the week.
But what of the ‘working relationship’ that has been spoken of? It is certainly difficult to categorise or measure, and is open to the interpretation of both clubs. The positive presumably for the Premier League side is the potential opportunity to take Los Blancos’ fringe players on loan or to bring them to north London on a permanent basis; names that stick out straight away are Kaka, Lassana Diarra, Esteban Granero and Raul Albiol. However, Spurs will want to avoid a high-pressure suitor lining up their best players, with the likes of Gareth Bale maybe in Mourinho’s sights for next summer.
In all honesty the agreement may count for little. Spurs have a similar pact in place with Brazilian club Internacional after the signing of Sandro back in 2010. Despite the combative midfielder being a solid addition to the squad, since then little has been achieved. As Villas-Boas lined up a move for Oscar from the Beira-Rio club earlier this summer the agreement counted for nothing as the player moved to Chelsea (after Spurs had admittedly been outbid), whilst the pursuit of Leandro Damiao does not seem to be aided by the ‘working relationship’.
It could well be a busy couple of days in north London before the window closes, as Villas-Boas looks to spend the club’s latest injection of money and find a man able to fill the boots of the mercurial Modric. Spurs fans will miss the diminutive midfielder but life will go on without him. The side started last season poorly due to uncertainty over Modric’s future, and one point from their first two games this time round is not the ideal start to Villas-Boas’ reign; the fans will be happy this weekend when the window is closed and the team can get down to business.