The market dictates the value of a player, not his team—as much as they'd like to think they do. So are Tottenham overvaluing and overpricing Luka Modric ahead of his proposed move to La Liga champions Real Madrid?
Spurs were right to hang on to their star player, as it was a necessary call to keep face in the transfer market. Are the north London side right or even realistic to expect a similar fee this time around?
Luka Modric is clearly capable of slotting into this Real Madrid side and making an impact. It's been debated to death, and the majority vote does suggest he'd be a good signing.
But what are Real Madrid paying for? More specifically, what are Tottenham advertising in their valuation of a player who hasn't really warranted a £30 million-plus price-tag?
Tottenham's drive is clear: Modric is a valuable member of the squad. Like most clubs, they are not currently ready to part with a player of his calibre.
But Modric's current price-tag is being dictated and set by his value to Tottenham, not necessarily what he's worth or even capable of producing.
Should we recap his past performances in depth? It's not really all that important, because his contribution to Tottenham over recent seasons is well-known.
However, it is necessary to quickly glance over his stats and what he could bring to the table.
Modric has never been able to establish himself as a 10-goal-a-season player, nor do his assists numbers jump off the page. But it's evident that Tottenham are not what Real Madrid are, and those numbers could greatly increase in La Liga.
So are Real Madrid buying potential, rather than proven quality?
Again, it's not necessary to go over how good Modric is. But should Spurs think a little before boosting up the transfer value of the player?
Real Madrid want the player, that much is evident. However, they hardly need him. His contribution to the team will be a bonus, but it's not worth the suggested fee.
While Tottenham are raising the value of a player which is not in keeping with the market value, I don't blame Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy for what he's doing.
Spurs' need for Modric greatly outweighs Madrid's need for him. And for that, it's necessary to demand the highest possible fee—even if it is unrealistic.
To suggest Modric should be sold for anywhere close to £40 million, which is what Tottenham are demanding, would be a market-wide view that the player is perhaps more valuable or even better than Xabi Alonso or Cesc Fabregas. Again, his previous performances and numbers do not point to this being the case.
The modest fee Arsenal received last year for Fabregas—a total figure of £24 million plus add-ons is a modest fee for a player of his quality—was set by the market. There were no other teams chasing Fabregas, nor did the player want to remain in the Premier League. It therefore allowed Barcelona greater power to stand firm with their derisory bid.
It's the same case with Modric: The player wants out, but his club are setting a valuation for him that isn't and shouldn't be agreed upon by the buying club.
Tottenham need to get rid of Modric. And as much as it would be a positive move for football if Daniel Levy were to hold firm on his stance (a stance that is take it or leave it under my terms), the club really would not be doing themselves any favours by standing still over this ugly transfer saga.
Real Madrid know the market value for a player who won't be a regular ahead of Xabi Alonso or Mesut Ozil, and that fee for a squad player should not be one hovering around the £30 million-plus mark.
If, for example, Manchester United for to come in for Modric—a club who do have a greater need for a player of Modric's ability and position—then £30 million would be about right. He'd slot in immediately into the first XI and would very much run the midfield at Old Trafford.
For now, though, Spurs are standing strong on their own valuation of a player. A very good player, of course, but not one whose description at his new club exactly fits the desired fee his current club hope to receive.