Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Luka Modric has stunned the north London club, by telling them he would like to move to rivals Chelsea this summer.
The 25-year-old has told the Daily Mail that he wishes to move to a club challenging for titles, and playing year-in, year-out in the Champions League, but has vowed to not force the issue, and to be respectful to his current employers and their supporters.
“I want to leave Tottenham as friends” said Modric, currently on holiday. “I have enjoyed my time there, but now it is right for me to look at another club.
“I have an arrangement with the chairman. When I signed my new contract, he said that, if another club came to sign me, they would consider the offer.”
Modric’s declaration comes following an opening bid from Chelsea, for £22m. That offer was rejected out-of-hand by Spurs, who value the player much more highly, but it is felt that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will return with a much higher offer, especially now that Modric has let his interest to Stamford Bridge be known.
Spurs will not allow the player, who has a long-term contract, to move for a cut-price, but a deal over £30m may be enough to tempt them to part with a player who has made public his feelings about leaving. Manchester City and Manchester United have both also made tentative enquiries about the schemer, but Modric is not keen on uprooting his family from London.
“Chelsea are a big club with an ambitious owner” continued Modric.
“They have great players and they have ambitions to fight for the title and win the Champions League.
“I want to stay in London. I am very happy here and so are my family. I like the city.”
“I don’t want to have an argument with Tottenham. The supporters have been very good to me and I have enjoyed my time playing for the club, but it is for football that players leave clubs and move. It has happened to Tottenham before. It is normal for a player to dream about playing for a bigger club.”
Modric is insistent that any potential move is not about financial gain, but is instead about his ambitions as a footballer, and his need to be competing for the games top honours.
“If somebody comes to the club and the offer is good for me and acceptable to them, then I want to leave, added the player, who joined Spurs from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008. “It has to be good for my ambition. It has to be a club who are winning titles and playing in the Champions League.
“This is not about money, it is about ambition. When I came to England, I was dreaming about winning titles. That is still the same.
“Tottenham are a big club, with good players and a good manager, but I want to fight for the championship. Spurs will always have a place in my heart. My experiences in the Champions League have left me with the desire for more.”
The Croatian international, a key figure for his country whom he hopes to lead to Euro 2012, now plans to speak to Daniel Levy, about his future.
“I need to talk with the chairman. I won’t ask for a transfer, no. That would be disrespectful. I hope they can reach an agreement that is satisfactory for everyone. I am on holiday, but I need to speak and to see if I can find a solution to this.”