Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, admits Luka Modric is "confused" about his future but is still determined to hang on to his star midfielder while letting go of the injury ridden defender Jonathan Woodgate.
Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, insisted on Wednesday that Modric, who is 12 months into a six-year contract, would not be leaving this summer after holding showdown talks with the Croatian. Modric has made it clear that he wants to swap Tottenham for Chelsea, who had a £22 million (Dh128.9m) bid for the player rejected three weeks ago.
Redknapp came face to face with Modric yesterday at the club's training base for the first time since the Croatian said he wanted to leave. "He's walked in today and is happy, but the kid's a bit confused at the moment. Other teams want him, but we want him here and I want to keep him," Redknapp told Sky Sports News.
"He loves playing here. It's a difficult situation for him and I understand where he's coming from. He's a special player for us. We want him here and need him here. "
Another special player was Woodgate having rated him one of England's best in the past but having joined Spurs in January 2008 from Middlesbrough, Woodgate has been limited to just 65 appearances due to several serious injuries.
The latest setback for the former Real Madrid man - a groin problem - meant he was only able to play one game in the last 15 months.
Napoli have made an offer for Alexis Sanchez, Giampaolo Pozzo, the Udinese owner has revealed. The Serie A club are in the Champions League next season and have joined the race to sign the highly-rated Chile winger. Barcelona are favourites to sign Sanchez, whose future will be decided after the Copa America. Premier League sides Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea as well as Inter Milan have all also been linked with the 22 year old, who is under contract until June 2014.
Wes Brown and John O'Shea, the Manchester United players, have completed their move to Sunderland after agreeing to four-year deals. Sunderland had a joint bid of more than £12m for Brown, John O'Shea and Darron Gibson accepted last month, and O'Shea, the Republic of Ireland defender completed his medical after Brown.
Steve Bruce, the manager, said: "We are delighted to welcome a player of Wes's ability, experience and character to the club." Brown is Bruce's seventh summer signing after Ahmed Elmohamady, Connor Wickham, Craig Gardner, Ji Dong-won, Keiren Westwood and Sebastian Larsson, and is unlikely to be the last with O'Shea and David Vaughan, the Blackpool midfielder, also understood to be close to agreeing deals.
Stuart Holden, Bolton's American international midfielder, cannot wait to make his comeback from injury, but remains wary of rushing his rehabilitation. Holden was ruled out of action for up to six months in March after a challenge by Jonny Evans, the Manchester United defender, left him with a damaged knee.
Holden, 25, said: "It is like someone is dangling the carrot in front of you and the obvious end goal is getting out on the pitch. If it was up to me, I'd be back out there with the lads now, but my body is the one telling me when I can and when I can't."
Johan Djourou insists the Arsenal squad cannot concern themselves with whether or not Cesc Fabregas will still be around next season. The Gunners head to Asia for a pre-season tour on Sunday, with speculation continuing over whether or not Fabregas will be on the plane or on his way to join Barcelona.
"We know there will be stories but we know what we're aiming for and what our goal is," Djourou told the BBC. "We want to be successful so we don't really get distracted by this. If he goes, he goes."
The defender Glen Johnson is looking forward to the new season with confidence having signed a contract extension at Anfield.
The England defender, like many of his teammates, endured mixed fortunes in the previous campaign as he looked woefully short of form under Roy Hodgson but was rejuvenated after Kenny Dalglish's arrival in January, playing well out of position at left-back.