Luka Modric has breathed life into Chelsea's pursuit of his signature by claiming he wants to leave Tottenham.
Chelsea have had a bid of £22m rejected, with Spurs describing the offer as ridiculous. It was felt at the time that the offer for the Croatian was an opening gambit and it may well have served its purpose as Modric has reacted by revealing he wants to head for a fresh challenge.
"I want to leave Tottenham as friends," Modric is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail. "I have enjoyed my time there, but now it is right for me to look at another club."
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has made it clear that he does not want to lose Modric, but the player claims he has an agreement with chairman Daniel Levy that could allow him to move on.
"I have an arrangement with the chairman," he said. "When I signed my new contract, he said that, if another club came to sign me, they would consider the offer."
Chelsea can offer Modric Champions League football and he is clearly attracted by that prospect.
He said: "Chelsea are a big club with an ambitious owner. They have great players and they have ambitions to fight for the title and win the Champions League."
Manchester United are believed to be keeping tabs on the situation, but it would appear Modric is happy in London.
"I want to stay in London," he said. "I am very happy here and so are my family. I like the city."