This was supposed to happen last summer, but as the negotiations between Real Madrid and Tottenham for Luka Modric seem to be breaking down, maybe Chelsea will be the club to benefit from the breakdown and finally sign the Croatian midfielder, a year later than their original plan.
It was supposed to be a done deal – It seemed Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid, finally, agreed on terms with the club after a lengthy and frustrating negotiation period, finally both clubs settling for just under £30 million, with most of the fee being paid up front and about £5 million to be included as add-ons.
It seems as Modric was on his way to Madrid and finalize his personal terms with the Spanish champions, someone at Tottenham, probably Daniel Levy, decided he wants a bit more at the last second, suddenly asking for £2-3 million more on the deal. It’s no longer just a matter of money, it seems, especially for Real – it’s a matter of principal.
They’ve already threatened to pull the plug on the deal several times because of the behavior on Tottenham’s side, leaving the English club without the cash they want and with a player who doesn’t really want to play for them anymore, but they’ve always gone back to the negotiation table, seeing Modric as pretty much the only player they wanted to sign this summer and willing to go through a bit more hardships than usual to sign him.
This time, it might be the straw that broke the rich club’s back. Jose Mourinho doesn’t seem to be in some sort of dire need to add pieces to the puzzle that won him a title last season. After knowing what formula works and not losing a single piece from it, he believes that the next season, which began with a 1-1 home draw against Valencia, will be just as good on both the Spanish and the European front. Adding Modric to the midfield would be great, but not at the price Tottenham are asking and changing constantly.
A manager who has already spent quite a lot, Roberto Di Matteo, doesn’t feel like he’s done with his purchasing. Despite already buying Eden Hazard and Oscar, it seems Chelsea, from the first two matches of the season, are still lacking in the central midfield department. Luka Modric is just the right kind of player to fix their possession and ball movement problems, which were evident even against a team like Wigan, despite the 2-0, misleading scoreline at the end.
Last year, a £35 million offer from Chelsea for Modric wasn’t enough. This year, has the price went down? I’m not so sure, and if Tottenham made it that difficult for Real Madrid to sign their most coveted player, imagine what kind of obstacles they’ll put in the way of one of their biggest rivals, although the nearing deadline might be helpful in changing their minds.