Fulham manager Martin Jol feels his old club Tottenham must hold on to Luka Modric if they want to challenge for a place back in the top four of the Premier League.
Modric, 25 stunned Spurs by declaring he wants to leave White Hart Lane - and announcing Chelsea as his preferred destination. However, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy responded by claiming the midfielder is not for sale ''at any price'' to any club, with current boss Harry Redknapp stressing Spurs must show Modric they can match his ambition.
Jol was in charge at White Hart Lane from 2004 to 2007, and just missed out on Champions League qualification when they were overtaken by rivals Arsenal on the final day of the 2005-06 campaign.
The Dutchman saw star midfielder Michael Carrick sold to Manchester United that summer, and, shortly before his own departure, claimed he would ''rather die'' when it was suggested that Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov would also go the same way.
Jol feels his old club must stand firm on the Modric situation if they are to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool for a place in the Champions League again.
''People always say if you sell Carrick or Berbatov, that you are a selling club. In Holland, it is a complement, but in England it is not,'' said Jol. ''If Spurs can keep Modric, it would be a big difference and give a good start if they want to be champions or in the top four.''