LONDON // Luka Modric, the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, claims Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, threatened to make him sit in the stands unless he accepted the club's position that he is not for sale.
Modric, 25, has been the subject of a £22 million (Dh128.7m) bid from London rivals Chelsea, but Levy rejected the offer and insisted he will not let Tottenham's key man leave, although the player himself claims that stance has broken an agreement the two men struck up last summer.
"I reminded the chairman of our gentlemen's agreement when we were in Dubrovnik last summer and I agreed a contract extension with Tottenham," Modric told the Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti. "At that time, I had an open chat with Levy — that if a bigger club came in with a concrete offer, we would consider it and agree the best solution for all concerned.
"Now Levy doesn't want to talk to me and said there is no possibility that I can leave Spurs. He threatened me — he said if I didn't accept the club's stance, they would make me sit on the bench or in the stands."
Levy held talks with Modric last week and reported immediately afterwards that the player would remain at White Hart Lane, but the former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder had a different view on the success of the discussions.
Modric said: "A lot has been published in the press about the meeting with Levy, who gave the public a twisted account of what happened. I must say that I am genuinely disappointed about what Levy said to me.
"He didn't care about what I was telling him. It all only convinced me further that I was right to consider moving on to another club.
"I hope that, eventually, he will understand the situation and that we will reach an agreement and go our separate ways in an appropriate manner."
Modric maintains that joining Chelsea would be a "dream" for him. "There is no doubt that Chelsea want me — they sent a concrete offer to Tottenham," he said.
"I know that the new Chelsea boss [Andre Villas-Boas] said he wants me in his team. Of course I am flattered by this interest in me - it's a club that all players dream of joining, fighting for every competition available.
"It wasn't a snap decision — I talked a long time with my family and people whose opinions I respect. I thought about it, weighed it all up, and finally decided this was the best option."