LONDON – Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is confident that Luka Modric will not push for a move to Chelsea next month and is adamant that the playmaker is not for sale at any price.
Modric was the focus of a summer-long battle between Tottenham and Chelsea, who made at least three offers for the player - the last one reported to be worth £40million.
The Croatian infuriated the White Hart Lane faithful by publicly declaring he wanted to leave for the club's London rivals, but Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy refused to budge, and the 26-year-old remained.
Although Chelsea have struggled under Andre Villas-Boas this term, dropping to fourth owing to erratic form, the Blues can still offer the midfielder Champions League football and a huge pay rise that would see the player treble his wages.
Redknapp admits talk of a move to the Blues distracted the player this summer - a fact that became apparent when he pleaded with the Spurs boss not to play him against Manchester City in August.
The 64-year-old is adamant that Modric has put the move out of his mind now, however, and does not expect his head to be turned by talk of a renewed bid from Chelsea when the transfer window opens.
"I don't expect Luka to want to go anywhere. I think the Chelsea deal is dead," Redknapp said.
"He's happy here. I don't know where he's at with his contract talks with the chairman but I'm sure they'll get something done.'
"I don't see there being a problem with Luka. No matter what Chelsea offer, he isn't going. Not a chance."
To underline his desire to move to Chelsea, Modric gave three interviews in which he lavished praise upon the Blues this summer.
Modric hinted Tottenham did not have the potential to fill his ambitions, describing Chelsea as a "great club" who had a serious chance of winning the league.
That may have annoyed Spurs fans, but the irony is that with half of the season gone, the north London outfit are better positioned of the two teams to realise that aim thanks to their recent form.
Since the 5-1 loss to City Spurs have lost one, drawn one and won 11.
The run has seen them climb to third in the table, and they will pull five points clear of Chelsea with a match in hand if they beat their neighbours at White Hart Lane on Thursday.
Redknapp hopes Modric, who is in discussions with the club over a new deal, now realises that Spurs are a club who are destined for great things.
"This is a good club. This is a club building a new stadium, a new training ground. It's a club that's going places," Redknapp said.
"They're both good clubs. We've closed the gap, definitely, on Arsenal and Chelsea from where we were. We're now up there trying to finish above Arsenal for the second time in the Premier League.
"The potential is great, we sell out every week. We've got good players.
"I would love to see us perhaps make one big signing. That would really send out a message too."