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Harry: I'm so lucky to have Luka.

Byline: Dean Jones

HARRY REDKNAPP believes he would have had a mass exodus on his hands if Luka Modric had been allowed to quit Tottenham. Chelsea tried to sign the pounds 40million-rated Croatian in August and the player's head was turned.

Modric didn't throw a tantrum when Spurs held him to his contract, and talks have now opened on a deal to make him the club's highest-paid player.

Relieved Redknapp hopes it shows the rest of his squad how ambitious Spurs are, and they can take a huge step forward with victory in today's heated north London derby.

Redknapp said: "Luka's just a top player. You will never hear me complaining about him.

"To be fair it's the same with all those Croatian boys at Tottenham - Luka, Vedran Corluka and Niko Kranjcar. They don't sit around and sulk or throw the toys out of their pram if they don't make the team.

"They just come into training and get their heads down and work hard to get back in. I wish other players were as easy to deal with.

Sulked "Nobody can tell me that any player's head wouldn't be turned by the offer of Champions League football at Chelsea and a pounds 130,000-a-week salary.

"I can't blame Luka for considering it, he's only human.

"I know some players who would never have played for the club again and gone and smashed the chairman's door down and demanded to move. Not Luka.

"If he was disappointed I have seen none of it. Not one day has he sulked.

"I love him as a player and to have lost him would have been a massive blow to the club. It would have sent out all the wrong signals and suddenly you would have had a line of players demanding to follow him out the door."

The fact he is still at Spurs has given Redknapp belief that his side can now become the kings of north London.

Redknapp added: "Do we have the edge over them? Last season perhaps, but it's finishing above them in the league that's more important to me. I would lose the game at home if it guaranteed me that.

"We are closing the gap now and this is probably the best chance we have of finishing above them."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Oct 2, 2011
Words:383
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