Chelsea's pursuit of Luka Modric, one of the summer's long-standing sagas, has come to a conclusion according to Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp -- although reports suggest Daniel Levy has laid out terms to him, threatening him to play or face exclusion from Euro qualifiers next week.
The tug-of-war for the services of the Croat has gone Tottenham's way, despite the player himself wanting the move, after Spurs' chairman Daniel Levy held talks with player. Redknapp has insisted that the player would remain at the club and was in line to start the weekend's Premier League encounter against Manchester City.
Redknapp had been forced to drop the player for their previous league match against Man United or Thursday's Europa League encounter with Hearts, as he said that the player wasn't in the right frame of mind to play.
After the match however, Redknapp admitted that talks had been held with the player and the saga had finished.
The matter is finished now, claimed Redknapp. There was a meeting but Daniel would have just said the same thing, he's not for sale. It's been difficult for him but we want him to stay and he will stay. He'll train tomorrow and Saturday and should be fit for Sunday.
He's not caused a minute's problem, Redknapp added. He could have kicked up and been a problem and if he had been it would have been very difficult to keep him, because if players want to be disruptive they can be but he's not got that in his nature. He'll stay and play as well as he did last season. I've said since I came here what a fantastic footballer he is and how much I love working with him and what a great boy he is. I can see it's been difficult for him too but we want him to stay and it's a positive outcome.
However, reports suggest that Levy has laid out terms to Modric which state that if he doesn't turn up for Spurs' match against Manchester City at the weekend, he will not be released for Croatia's Euro qualifiers next week. Something along the lines of blackmail.
Chelsea fans still have reason to be cautiously hopeful though. Earlier in the summer, Daniel Levy held talks with Modric in much the same manner and Redknapp had come out stating that the Croat would be staying. As it turned out, Modric was incensed by Levy breaking his gentleman's agreement and it only served to fuel the player's wish to leave.
With the final day of transfer window still five days away, the Blues are expected to make another approach, believed to a be a player-plus-cash deal, in a bid to bring to Croat to Stamford Bridge.