Harry Redknapp has declared victory in the battle for the services of Luka Modric, insisting the Croatian will stay at Tottenham Hotspur despite being courted by Chelsea and will start Sunday's Premier League home match against Manchester City.
Modric has yet to appear for Tottenham this season and Redknapp omitted the midfielder from Monday's match against Manchester United at Old Trafford both because he had a minor hamstring injury and because "his head was not right" after Tottenham rejected bids for him from Chelsea, who could offer Champions League football this season and a hefty pay rise.
The Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, has been adamant all summer that he would not sell the influential midfielder at any price and Redknapp says that the player has finally accepted that reality after he and his agent met Levy for further discussions on Thursday. "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."
Modric was again left out of the Tottenham team for Thursday night's Europa League play-off game with Hearts – in which the 0-0 second leg draw saw Spurs progress to the group stage with a 5-0 aggregate score – but Redknapp said that was merely because he was not yet fully fit and claimed that the player has not agitated for a move away.
"He's not caused a minute's problem," said Redknapp. "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."
A positive that has been confirmed for Tottenham is the arrival of Emmanuel Adebayor on a season-long loan from Manchester City.
Redknapp had made a striker his top transfer priority this summer and reckons the Togolese is a "fantastic" signing. "He'll be great here," said Redknapp.
"I had a chat with Rio Ferdinand earlier in the week when we played United and he said 'both me and Vidic say he's the most difficult opponent we've ever played against." Redknapp said that if Adebayor succeeds this season he will attempt to sign him permanently.
Redknapp anticipates making at least two further additions to the squad before the transfer deadline next Wednesday and says attracting Lassana Diarra from Real Madrid remains "a real possibility" even though the midfielder was quoted in the Spanish press on Thursday as saying discussions between the parties had broken down. "They've not broken down," said Redknapp. "I signed him for Portsmouth, he's a real talent and I've got a good relationship. It's still a real possibility."
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