Over the past four years, Luka Modric has established himself as a world-class creative midfielder on both Tottenham and the Croatian national team.
Just at White Hart Lane, the little 26-year-old has scored 17 goals and assisted 26 others in 159 appearances, helping the club to their first appearance in the Champions League.
Combine this with the fact that Modric moved to the Lane in the largest transfer in Spurs history and you get the picture of an indispensable player whose value is clear. In short, the Croatian has all the makings of what Americans call a "franchise player:" a guy who the club should build around.
So why would Tottenham be better off without Luka?
You see, if you haven't been following transfer news very closely, Modric has wanted to leave the Spurs for over a year now.
Last summer, the Croatian pushed for a move to Chelsea as the Blues made multiple large offers for the midfielder. However, chairman Daniel Levy and then-manager Harry Redknapp stuck to their guns and held on to Modric throughout a pressure-filled August.
Over the past few weeks, Modric has again made his intentions to leave the Lane clear. These requests, though, have also been filled with gross unprofessionalism.
While the Spurs have held out for higher and higher prices in a business-savvy attempt to start a bidding war, Modric refused to show up to practice and even missed the team's flight to the USA for their preseason tour.
As a result, the club were forced to fine the Croatian, a blow to any leverage they may have been building.
Brand new manager Andre Villas-Boas has not taken kindly to the actions of his new player, making less than flattering comments about him to the press.
AVB's reaction is more than understandable. After all, he did not flourish when faced with such diva behavior at his last job.
Despite having a manager last season whose forte is man-management, Modric's relatively tame attempts to book an exit from the club were a key factor in the team's slow start to the season, as they lost their two August matches by a combined eight goals to one.
Imagine the potential impact of the club being forced to deal with the distraction of Luka's obvious discontent with a manager who has proved himself to be less than the best at handling discontented players.
On the flip side, a sale would give the club ample cash to chase a few late-window transfers.
On paper, sending Modric away would be a blow to Spurs.
In reality, though, Tottenham must send away the Croat.
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