Early Doors

Spurs-Real deal won’t make up for Modric loss

Early Doors

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Luka Modric finally completed his move to Real Madrid from Tottenham on Monday, bringing to an end the summer's other big transfer saga.

Seeing footage of the little Croatian doing keep-ups on the Bernabeu pitch means we can almost put this silliness away for the rest of the year. Between now and Friday's 11pm deadline we can expect plenty of hasty deals to be done — 90 per cent of which will involve Queens Park Rangers — but the Modric move is likely to be the last truly huge transfer in or out of England this summer.

"When I heard that Madrid noticed me, the rest lost interest," Modric said at his first Real press conference. "There are no hard feelings towards Tottenham, whatever may be said. I'm simply grateful to them." Nice of him to say how there are no hard feelings after he got exactly what he wanted, isn't it?

It could have been a lot bigger, too, had Spurs got the full £40 million fee they wanted. However, considering that this affair really started last summer when the playmaker wanted a move to Chelsea, that he has been sold abroad rather than to a London and Premier League rival is probably worth Tottenham taking the financial hit.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is well known for driving a hard bargain, which is odd considering that his reputation has been forged mostly due to the negotiating skills he displays when routinely selling his club's best players.

But Levy must have felt he had pulled another result out of the bag when it was announced on Monday that, in addition to a fee which could rise as high as £33m, the two clubs have also struck a "partnership agreement" that appears to be unique at this level of the game between clubs from two of the biggest leagues in the world.

When announcing the deal on Monday, it was revealed that the two clubs had struck an accord by which they intend to cooperate "in respect of players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships".

Quite what this will mean in reality is open to question but the widespread interpretation that it will boil down to Los Merengues having first refusal on signing Gareth Bale next summer, possibly with Real using a handful of unwanted youth products as makeweights in the deal, might not be too wide of the mark - although that is something Spurs deny.

There will probably be a few pre-season friendlies for the first team and youth players and coaches heading back and forth periodically, but the feeling that this is an empty gesture from Real is hard to shake.

This has the air of the coalition agreement about it. Like the ambitious but naive Liberal Democrats, Spurs have been so eager to get themselves to the top that they have gleefully leapt into a deal based on little more than a handshake and a few non-specific pledges. Real, part of the ruling class of European football, are happy to string them along, dangling the key to power just out of reach.

The upshot of it all is that Spurs, having failed to extract the extra cash from Real that they had spent most of the summer trying to get, now have just a few days left in the summer window to spend that money on strengthening their squad.

They have already had a sizeable bid rejected for Shakhtar Donetsk attacker Willian, while Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has suddenly piped up to say publicly that a deal could be done for France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Clubs everywhere will be aware of Tottenham's pressing need to re-invest their windfall and could not be blamed if they jacked up prices accordingly.

Spurs may have finally got Modric off their books a year after the player first told them he wanted to leave, but they could feel the effects of his exit for a long time to come.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Everything is going to be ok, stay calm, but me and my agent, we need to eat too:))..And don't read to many newspapers, they write whatever they want..:)).." — Dimitar Berbatov uses his Facebook page to deny any transfer rumours about him and also post a pic of his agent preparing his dinner for him. Good to see an agent actually earning his/her money for once.

FOREIGN VIEW: "Everyone on the team played at a great level and obviously that paves the way for individuals to shine. The important thing is to gel as a team and start to collect victories and if I can help by scoring a lot more goals than last season so much the better." — Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao is modest after scoring a hat-trick in his team's 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. Not a bad way to warm up for their European Super Cup clash against Chelsea. It could be quite a game on Friday in Monaco.

COMING UP: Plenty more Premier League video goodness today as we take a sideways look at the weekend's action in Hot or Not and review the most contentious refereeing decisions in The Whistleblower. Paul Parker will also be here with his latest blog later today.

Away from football, we will be bringing you live coverage of the latest stage of the Vuelta a Espana (12:00), the second one-day international between England and South Africa at the Rose Bowl (13:00) and day two of the US Open (16:00).

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