The Luka Modric ordeal is nearly over, with no real resolution. Real Madrid made a final €30 million ‘take it or leave it’ offer to Tottenham and were rejected once again, which will now probably turn their full attention to Benfica’s Belgian midfielder, Axel Witsel.
It’s not just about the price. It has a lot to do with the relationships between the clubs going South, because of Tottenham’s uncompromising stance in the negotiations, with Real Madrid constantly increasing their offers and Tottenham not budging from their €40 million demands one bit, leading to a discord with the player and what looks like the termination of the negotiations with Real Madrid.
Tottenham don’t see themselves as a feeder club for the bigger clubs of Europe, despite the fact that they haven’t won a league title in 50 years or won’t be in the Champions League once again. Daniel Levy has ambition for this club, and they involve keeping its best players to play out their contracts whether they’d like to or not.
Whatever the reasons for keeping Modric despite the offers and despite the promise he received, allegedly, from Daniel Levy to let him go to Real Madrid this summer, Real are sick of the negotiations. They have yet to complete a signing this summer, and the season isn’t too far away. It begins with the Spanish Super cup, and a double meeting with Barcelona, which needs no introduction or explaining its importance, despite being only a preseason cup competition.
Axel Witsel, the winger turned into central midfielder with Benfica, seems to be the next target. Nuri Sahin is no longer in Jose Mourinho’s plans, or maybe he never was, now offered for the right price to any club that wants him. Arsenal maybe? Maybe Tottenham, although that’s probably off the table at the moment. There are plenty of suitors.
Benfica have already declared that whoever goes for Witsel, spending only one season in Portugal so far, will have to pay €40 million to trigger his release. He is younger than Modric, but not necessarily better, probably not at this moment. However, the potential is there, with a bit more versatility than Modric has to offer. Benfica, who have sold Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao to Real Madrid over the last two season should prove to be a bit more comfortable side to negotiate with, having no problem playing the feeder club for the right amount of money.