Their North London rivals may have attracted most of the transfer windows headlines, but Tottenham Hotspur also found themselves embroiled in a feisty transfer saga.
Since June, their talisman midfielder, Luka Modric, has been linked with a move away from White Hart Lane.
Stamford Bridge seemed like his most likely destination, but the Croatian playmaker also attracted interest from Sir Alex Ferguson.
Andre Villas-Boas’ Chelsea team are desperately lacking a creative spark in the centre of their midfield, and it has become common knowledge that the Tottenham board have turned down at least three official offers from their London rivals.
Daniel Levy’s defiance was emphasised by the rejection of a lucrative £40 million offer for the central midfielder and thwarted Chelsea’s interest in the Spurs player.
Although the club have successfully held onto their best player, it could have a negative impact on their season.
This slideshow will explore, analyse and discuss five reasons why Tottenham should have sold their star player.
Read on and feel free to comment!!
Tottenham fans need only look at their North London rivals to see the harm having a want-away player in your squad can do.
Cesc Fabregas may have been a consummate professional on the pitch, but off of it, reports surrounding his future made a mockery of Arsenal football club for three seasons.
Unfortunately, it seems that Luka Modric does not have the right head to play with the same level of professionalism that the former Arsenal captain did.
The Croatia international requested to be left out of Tottenham’s opening two games of the season after claiming that he was not in the right frame of mind to represent Harry Redknapp’s team.
This could be an unwelcome sign for things to come.
Luka Modric is a player whose morale can have a noticeable impact on his game. In the match against Manchester City, Spurs may as well have been fielding 10 men; the midfielder was that disappointing.
Now that Modric has been forced to stay, a string of further mediocre performances could be just around the corner.
The playmaker has put Spurs in a difficult position. If they did sell him, the team would have lost their best player, but now that his future is certain he could have a negative impact on the dressing room’s morale.
A club can be excused for refusing to sell their best player, but when the offer came in, Tottenham would have had plenty of time and money to find a replacement for the playmaker.
Harry Redknapp has worked wonders at White Hart Lane, but the squad is mostly unchanged from the side that qualified for the Champion’s League two seasons ago.
It seems that the squad has reached its maximum potential and the only way of broadening the club’s horizon is to sign new players.
The £40 million valuation that Chelsea offered Spurs was generous. Although accepting the offer would have left Daniel Levy and Harry Redknapp with a mountainous task to complete in little time, there were players who could have been brought in at short notice.
Barcelona’s Dutch winger Ibrahim Afellay is one such example. The Holland international spent much of last season frustrated by a lack of first team football, despite the success that the Catalonian giants enjoyed.
The arrival of Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez at the Nou Camp has made his prospects of first team football all the more slender.
A report in the Metro suggested that he could have been available for as little as £4 million. This combined with the £5 million Spurs have invested in Scott Parker would have left the North London club with two high quality midfielders £31 million carried over.
With the rest of the money that Tottenham could have raised from Modric’s transfer the likes of Gary Cahill, Yossi Benayoun and Lassana Diarra could have been added to the squad without making a loss.
Is Luka Modric worth four, or perhaps more, high quality players?
At some point in every footballer’s career, they will get their heads turned.
It is a natural part of the human psychology to believe that the grass is greener on the other side.
What a footballer needs to remember however is that they are a professional athletes and as such, they should act with a degree of maturity and decorum.
The 25 year old Croatian has done neither of this.
The Guardian quotes Modric saying earlier in the transfer window:
"I would like to go to Chelsea. A lot of players would like to go there and play for Chelsea because it is one of the best clubs in the world, and so do I. I would like to play there. But we will see what will happen.
"Chelsea are a great club, they play in the Champions League every year, they have great players, they are ambitious and have an ambitious owner who wants to invest in the club and make it win the Champions League, the Premier League and other titles.
"They are going in a great direction and everything about the club is very good. They [Chelsea] are the only one who sent an offer and they are at the moment my first choice."
Although these comments are alarming for Spurs fans, another article by the same publication contains quotes that are all the more disconcerting.
"A lot has been published in the press about the meeting with Levy, who gave the public a twisted account of what happened. I must say that I am genuinely disappointed about what Levy said to me. He didn't care about what I was telling him.
"It all only convinced me further that I was right to consider moving on to another club.
"I reminded the chairman of our gentleman's agreement when we were in Dubrovnik last summer and I agreed a contract extension with Tottenham. Then I had an open chat with Levy – that if a bigger club came in with a concrete offer, we would consider it and agree the best solution for all concerned.
"The chairman said, 'OK, we'll sit and talk [about any offers]'. Now Levy doesn't want to talk to me and said there is no possibility that I can leave Spurs.”
Such comments show a complete lack of respect to Tottenham football club. Although the comments were made in a blatant attempt to manufacture a move, they show his complete unwillingness to commit to a legal document that he signed one year ago.
Tottenham have one of the deepest midfields in the Premier League.
It is a testament to the club that the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Sandro, Wilson Palacios, Nico Kranjcar and Jake Livermore are readily available to deputise should injury or suspension plague the first team.
Although these players all play a different style of football to the Croatian playmaker, they have all shown in the past that they are solid Premier League players.
The addition of Scott Parker from West Ham United further emphasis the depth Spurs’ have in the centre of the pitch.
Again, Scott Parker does not offer the creative options that Modric does, but his dogged determination and physical presence in the centre of midfield makes him an equally as attractive option.
Parker could act as Tottenham’s engine room, coming deep to win the ball and making runs from box to box. He has done it for all of his previous clubs.
He could also link up well with Rafael Van Der Vaart. If the ball is given to Van Der Vaart in the final third of the pitch he could use his flair to create goal scoring positions for Tottenham from a much more advanced area of the pitch the one Modric fills.
So long as Parker keeps up his work rate, Tottenham will not lack creativity.
Tottenham fans may look back at previous transfer windows with a feeling of regret and frustration.
When the North London club offloaded key players such as Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Carrick and Robbie Keane, it took them several seasons and a change in manager to rebuild the team to the level it was playing at.
Since then however, the club have experienced their best seasons since the 1960s.
In 2009- 2010, they for the Champion’s League for the first time in the clubs history by breaking into the Premier League’s top four.
This alone is proof that it is never impossible for a club to recover from the sale of their best talent. All that is required is some astute decision making.
Harry Redknapp need only look at the example set by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. In recent seasons the Scot has had to contend with the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Edwin van der Sar and Paul Scholes, but United remain a potent force in the Premier League.
The important thing in selling any player is to be proactive, not reactive. Under Martin Jol and Juande Ramos, the football club found themselves a little out of their depth. Perhaps the board was confused on how the club should progress.
Since then the team as advanced leaps and bounds, despite following a slightly indirect course. Tottenham now know where they currently rank and should have a vision on how to build upon the clubs progress.
Luka Modric’s departure would not have spelled disaster for Spurs, but it would have left the board accountable for a lot of important factors.