Tottenham news

Redknapp hopes tour distracts Modric

July 13, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Harry Redknapp hopes Tottenham's pre-season tour of South Africa will move the focus away from Luka Modric's ongoing battle with the club over a move to Chelsea, amid speculation the midfielder has put forward a transfer request.

Harry Redknapp is still hopeful Luka Modric will remain with Spurs
GettyImagesHarry Redknapp is still hopeful Luka Modric will remain with Spurs

• Redknapp rejects Modric transfer request

Modric, along with the rest of his Spurs team-mates, will arrive in Johannesburg on Thursday, just days after the Croatian repeated his desire to move to Stamford Bridge in an explosive interview in which he also strongly criticised club chairman Daniel Levy.

Modric has been at the centre of a month-long tug-of-war between his employers and the Blues, who have made unsuccessful bids of £22million and £27million for the 25-year-old.

Redknapp admitted last week his playmaker was "confused" about his future, but fully expects Modric to take part in Saturday's friendly against Kaizer Chiefs and the other two games that they will play on the 10-day tour.

Redknapp said: "Hopefully he will go away and get a bit of football now and just get on with it. We hope that he will come back and get ready for the new season."

Spurs take on South African club the Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday afternoon and then face Orlando Pirates before playing the winner of a play-off between the two home sides on July 23.

Steven Pienaar, who was born in the Johannesburg area where the two teams are from, is excited about playing in his homeland and having the chance to put his fitness problems behind him having been troubled by knee and groin injuries last term.

"I am looking forward to the tour,'' Pienaar said. "I have had a lot of ups and downs in my first few months at the club but hopefully I can put it behind me now. I am almost there with my fitness. I'm still working on it. Hopefully I will get a game.''