So Chelsea bid £22m for Luka Modric despite the fact they are yet to appoint a new manager. Harry Redknapp laughs of such an offer given the price quoted for other less talented players and the recent transfers of Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson. Does Harry have a point? Possibly but it’s a little bit difficult to make direct comparisons.
The fact of the matter is top English talent generally goes at a premium price. However, despite that fact of football life ‘” there is another point to keep in mind; Jones and Henderson are 19 and 20 respectively. Now, there is two sides to that; the first being the younger the player the more top class seasons in the Premier League they have. As we know players start to become less effective when they get older and need to be treated more carefully with less game time. However, the other side to the argument is that Modric has significant Premier League experience after signing for Tottenham in 2008 and played regularly for the North London club for the past three seasons. Modric is also an experienced international for Croatia and has won 44 caps for his country. Any transfer fee for Modric would be a reprehensive of his current ability rather than potential ability in the case of Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson.
Everyone really accepts that the transfer market is out of control and the fees that are being paid for these footballers ‘” does not represent the true value of the player. However ‘” there is a club that desperately wants to buy a player on one side and on the other side there is a club that desperately doesn’t want to sell. In these sort of situation players are simply not going to gone on the cheap ‘” which is why Real Madrid had to pay £80m for Cristiano Ronaldo and why Arsenal have £52m+ price tag on the head of Cesc Fabregas. These players are not worth this sort of money in the same way that Jordan Henderson is not worth £20m ‘” but the transfer market is all about what one club is prepared to pay in order to land a top target.
In Chelsea’s case they have clearly decided they need a player like Modric and decided to have a go at getting him. However, Tottenham have clearly decided that it was never a runner. Spurs will see Chelsea as rival to qualify for the Champions League at the very least and quite possibly also a rival for the Premier League title ‘” providing Tottenham’s ambitions strength that far. Harry Redknapp has discussed it before ‘” so one assumes that Tottenham are at least eyeing the possibility. This may in a way hold the key ‘” is it really the price that is the problem or is Modric just not for sale at any price?
Honestly I am not so sure that Modric is worth more than £22m but the problem is that inflated prices elsewhere have swayed the perception. The point is if Jordan Henderson had moved to Liverpool in a £5m deal then Tottenham may agree that Modric is worth £22m. So the pricing is all relative really based on the price of other deals. But even if Tottenham agreed that Modric is worth £22m ‘” that certainly doesn’t mean that they have to sell him ‘” because they may decide that the player is more valuable than transfer fee would be.
It seems clear that the ambitious of the club Modric plays for plays a significant part in this transfer story. If Modric was contracted to Blackburn or Sunderland then the £22m transfer bid from Chelsea would have been accepted and he would now be a Chelsea player. Therefore how much is he really worth?
Harry Redknapp’s stance on Modric is understandable and in some ways commendable ‘” but his suggestion that Modric is irreplaceable really true? I would think probably not. Some people said similar things when Sir Alex Ferguson agreed to cash in on Ronaldo. However, Manchester United has managed to stay on top in English football even after Ronaldo has gone. One thing that Redknapp may need to keep in mind is it might not be possible to replace Modric with just one player. At Manchester United the signing of Antonio Valencia was maybe the direct replacement ‘” but Wayne Rooney and Luis Nani have also stepped up to fill the gap.
Time will tell if Modric is still a Tottenham player at the end of August. There are many twists and turns to come on this story and almost certainly further bids will go in ‘” with both Manchester United and Chelsea keen to sign him. The indication is that Tottenham will not sell ‘” but if further increased bids gone in then there will surely be a temptation to sell.
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