Tottenham boss insists: Modric is not being excluded from training

Spurs supremo hits back at suggestions that Croat is not training with the squad

Harry Redknapp has denied reports that Luka Modric trained by himself away from the first-team squad yesterday due to the furore over his future.

Modric was absent when the Tottenham squad continued their pre-season training with a running session in Epping Forest near the club’s Chigwell training base.

However, Redknapp insists that the Croatian missed the excursion as a precaution to protect his ankle, adding that the wantaway midfielder rejoined the group later in the day.

“Did he train away from the first-team? No, absolutely not a chance. He’s trained with us,” said Redknapp. “We went for a run in the forest for the first time since I’ve been here. I just decided to break things up by going into Epping Forest, which is just up the road.

“We had a good running session in there and he [Modric] had a little bit of a problem with his ankle last year, so we didn’t take him with us. There were four or five of them, like Tom [Huddlestone].

“In the afternoon we had a good session, we worked with the ball, we had a competitive session, some keep-ball. We worked hard and he joined in with everybody.

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“No, he’s certainly not away from the squad. I can’t tell you just what a great guy he is, he’s not a minute’s problem.

“He works hard, he comes in and trains hard every day and we desperately need to keep him here if we’re going to push on. We need to add to him, otherwise we’re going to fall behind. That’s obvious.”

While Redknapp reiterated that he is “desperate” to keep Modric, the manager admits that he sympathises with the player’s position.

“At the end of the day it’s up to the chairman, he makes those decisions. I certainly wouldn’t want to lose him, but it’s a difficult situation,” said the Spurs boss.

“He’s a fantastic boy, he’s a great player and it’s not easy. When people come along and start offering to double or treble your wages, it must make it very difficult for him and I understand where he’s coming from a little bit with it, but I’m desperate to keep him.”

You can follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs