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Chelsea were strongly linked with Luka Modric back in 2011, as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was too keen on seeing the Croatian midfielder play for Chelsea.
Modric had been superb with Tottenham, and was ready to take the next step to Chelsea, but his move was blocked by Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy.
Modric met up with Roman Abramovich at the time and made known his desire to leave Spurs, much to the annoyance of Levy who kept him back at the club against his wish and then sold him to Real Madrid a year later.
“I had come to his yacht to talk, so it was evident I wished the same,” Modric told the Guardian. “My feeling was that it was time for a move – I wanted to fight for trophies and win titles, and I felt this wouldn’t happen if I stayed at Tottenham. I wanted to move to a more ambitious club.
“Before pre-season, English reporters called me and asked if it was true that I wanted to leave. I was honest, and probably naive, when I said I thought it was time for a step forward in my career.
“That created a lot of fuss, which didn’t quieten down until the end of the transfer window. Levy made a public statement saying that there was no chance of letting me leave and that I had a firm contract.”
Modric would eventually leave for Real Madrid the following year for a reported fee of £30m in 2012. The Croatian has since gone on to win 17 major trophies with Los Blancos, including 4 Champions Leagues.
Last year, a disgusted Harry Redknapp revealed how former Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas tried to talk his then-player Luka Modric into joining them.
“Agents will be talking to chairmen at football clubs without the knowledge of the club they belong to,” Redknapp told Yahoo Sport UK.
“They’ll all be tapping up people, managers ring players.
“I remember when I was at Tottenham and Luka Modric came in and said to me, ‘gaffer Chelsea have been on and Villas-Boas has been ringing me all day, every day.’
“He was the manager of Chelsea, it’s breaking the rules really isn’t it.
“But it was amazing really they got rid of me and gave him the job and he had been tapping up their best player for the last six months.
“There’s something not quite right there.”