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Football

Madrid close in on Modric signing, Defoe considers future at Spurs

  • Modric set to complete 23.8 million pounds move to Real Madrid.

Real Madrid are edging toward completing the signing of Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric after upping their offer for the 26-year-old.

Tottenham have been fighting off interest from the Spanish club all summer, refusing to consider offers below their 40 million pound ($63 million) valuation. Spurs had initially valued Modric at around 50 million pounds, and refused to budge on their valuation dismissing Real’s offer of 30 million pounds as insufficient.

A compromise is understood to have been reached between the two clubs, one which guarantees Spurs a significant amount up front with more in add-ons should the player prove a success at the Bernabeu.

The specific details of the agreement have not yet been released, with The Independent suggesting the fee could be as low as 27.5 million pounds, while The Telegraph claims that Spurs will receive at least 35 million pounds.

Modric is expected to arrive in the Spanish capital within the next 48 hours to sign off on a deal, with the money from the transfer being handed to Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas to sign replacements.

Porto’s Joao Moutinho and Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila have been linked with a move to White Hart Lane in recent weeks as direct replacements for the departing Croat.

Spurs striker Jermain Defoe could be another player destined to leave the club, with the 29-year-old England international having grown frustrated at seeing his first-team opportunities limited at Tottenham.

Queens Park Rangers, Aston Villa and Sunderland are all being linked with moves for the player.

“Everyone knows how much I love Tottenham. Everybody knows that they are the club I want to play for,” Defoe told The Daily Mirror.

“Last season was heartbreaking for me in terms of putting my body on the line, being prepared to give everything for the club and not getting a game.

“Obviously I have to think seriously about my future. I will talk to the club and see what happens but right now all I want to do is what is best for Tottenham,” he added.

If Spurs decide to sell Defoe it will be unlikely to happen before a replacement is signed, with 19-year-old Harry Kane the only other out-and-out striker at the club. The club are expected to push through deals for Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City and Leandro Damiao from Internacional.

Arsenal could face losing midfielder Alex Song to Barcelona after officials from the Spanish club flew in to London with an opening bid of 12 million pounds for the Cameroon international.

The Daily Mail reports that Barcelona are intent on signing Song before the weekend, adding that despite the player’s influence at the club Arsenal would consider selling the 24-year-old should they receive an offer between 15 and 20 million pounds.

Arsene Wenger would be reluctant to let two key players leave the Emirates Stadium for the second successive summer after midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both left last year.

Song currently has three years remaining on his current deal with the club and has told the club’s hierarchy that he wants to sign a new extension with the Gunners.

Liverpool are closing in on a loan deal for Nuri Sahin, having moved ahead of Arsenal in the pursuit of the Real Madrid midfielder.

According to the Guardian, the Turkey international, who is available on a seasonlong loan following a frustrating debut in Spain, could become Brendan Rodgers’ third signing as Liverpool manager despite fierce competition from Arsenal and the 23-year-old’s desire for Champions League football.

Arsenal remain keen on the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder, particularly should they lose Alex Song to Barcelona, but the deal has swung in Liverpool’s favor. Rodgers worked under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and the Real coach remains a firm admirer of the Liverpool manager.

The Spanish champions would prefer Sahin did not join a club that is also in the Champions League, and Liverpool are prepared to pay more of the player’s salary than Arsenal. They have also had the advantage of Xabi Alonso extolling the virtues of his former club to Sahin in recent weeks.

Rodgers, who remains hopeful of completing a similar loan deal for Barcelona’s Cristian Tello, is keen to strengthen the Liverpool squad before Saturday’s Premier League opener at West Bromwich Albion.

The Liverpool manager said Wednesday: “There has been contact and communication with the clubs. The team of people behind myself are working very, very hard in relation to those targets.

“We hope that within the next number of weeks those will bear fruit. The work has been continual right the way through to try and get in players that fit the profile of Liverpool and the team.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 17, 2012, on page 14.
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