Villas-Boas insists Modric will not leave unless €45m asking price is met


SOCCER NEWS:TOTTENHAM MANAGER Andre Villas-Boas has warned clubs interested in Luka Modric that the Croatia playmaker will not be sold for less than Spurs’ asking price of €45 million.

Spanish champions Real Madrid are thought to be leading the chase for the 26-year-old, with Manchester United and Paris St Germain reportedly among other potential suitors.

Villas-Boas said: “There has been continuous interest from three different clubs in Luka. But it is important for Tottenham to hold onto their rights. His situation will continue as it is until the price is right.

“It’s important to understand his feelings. We have been speaking and I understand his point and he understands the club’s point.”

Modric first stated his desire to leave White Hart Lane last summer after the team failed to qualify for the Champions League. The north London club stood firm, but speculation has been rife again recently after Chelsea’s triumph in this year’s Champions League final meant Spurs once again missed out on Europe’s premier club competition.

Speaking after Wednesday night’s 2-0 pre-season friendly win at Stevenage, Villas-Boas added: “Luka is an intelligent person and understands the club has to defend his value, their values, rights and interests.

“It’s a difficult situation for the club but we have been co-operative by openly saying we are willing to listen to offers.

“But the offer has not been met to what the chairman [Daniel Levy] wants. If that is met there won’t be any problems.”

Modric, who joined Tottenham from Dinamo Zagreb four years ago, is under contract until 2016.

Defender Ledley King, described by Tottenham yesterday as one of the club’s “greatest players”, has been forced to retire from the game at 31 after years labouring with a chronic knee complaint.

King, a one-club man who joined up at 14 and spent the last 13 years in the Spurs first team, is bowing out after 323 senior appearances and 21 England caps. The defender will take up an ambassadorial role at White Hart Lane.

“I have been here since I was a boy, I have always considered it my club and have always found it hard to imagine wearing the shirt of another team,” King said.

“I have always enjoyed being part of the set-up here and the challenge of putting this club up with the elite where it should be. I am pleased I can continue to work within the club for the local community.”

Meanwhile, Sean O’Driscoll was last night confirmed a the new manager of Nottingham Forest.

The former Republic of Ireland international spent five years in charge of Doncaster where he guided the South Yorkshire club to promotion to the Championship in 2008 and also led them to glory in the Johnstones Paint Trophy.

As a player, ODriscoll made more than 600 appearances for Fulham and Bournemouth and won three caps for the Republic of Ireland. .

Elsewhere, Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has confirmed the Blues’ interest in Wigan striker Victor Moses but admitted a deal is yet to be agreed.

On Wednesday, Latics owner Dave Whelan claimed the club had rejected a third attempted deal from Chelsea as their €6.5 million bid fell short of Wigan’s valuation for the 21-year-old forward.

Di Matteo, who is with Chelsea on their pre-season tour in the United States, said: “(It’s) something that the clubs are discussing but at the moment he is a Wigan player.

“He had a good season last season, he is young and an interesting prospect.”

Moses, who scored six goals last season, only has one year remaining on his contract and has not yet signed a new deal to keep him at the DW Stadium.

Swansea’s midfielder Joe Allen has been named as a transfer target by Liverpool manager and former boss Brendan Rodgers.

Rodgers, who made the switch from the Liberty Stadium to Anfield to replace Kenny Dalglish this summer, confirmed his interest in the Welsh international after admitting he is also interested in Fulham’s American striker Clint Dempsey.

Allen signed a four-year deal with Swansea last year but Rodgers is keen to bring him to the north west.

Rodgers said: “I have a great relationship with Swansea but if there is a market for any of the players, I would like to be in that market.

“They respect that. He is a very talented player, which everyone knows but there is nothing more at the moment. When players come to a club such as Liverpool, it’s never straightforward.

Rodgers has already signed former Swansea striker Fabio Borini in a €12.8 million deal with Roma and is keen to wrap up some more early business.

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