Fans could spur Modric to stay, says teammate Crouch

Croatian player gets a rousing reception at White Hart Lane despite his desire to leave the club for London rivals, Chelsea.

LONDON // Peter Crouch hopes Luka Modric's rapturous reception from the home support at White Hart Lane on Sunday will help persuade the unsettled Croatian to turn his back on a move to Chelsea.

Tottenham Hotspur fans reacted angrily in July when Modric went on record to state his desire to complete a "dream" move to the club's London rivals, who have made two unsuccessful bids for the player this summer.

Daniel Levy has stuck to his position that Modric will not be sold despite the playmaker launching a verbal public attack on the Tottenham chairman for not allowing him to leave for Stamford Bridge.

Modric made his first appearance at White Hart Lane yesterday since the transfer saga erupted, coming off the bench in the 24th minute of Spurs' 2-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Despite his public flirtation with leaving the club, Modric received a huge round of applause when he entered the field - something Crouch hopes could help keep the star at the club amid reports Chelsea are weighing up a fresh £30 million (Dh180m)-plus bid.

"I think he might have been a bit concerned about which way it would go but he got a great reception," Crouch said.

"That certainly makes it harder for him that the fans are right behind him. He knows that the fans here love him and hopefully he can stay here for as long as he can.

"He's going off for international duty now and we were saying to him, 'make sure we see you on Thursday'. "He is a top player. We love him at the club. He is a great lad to have about. We all want him to stay."

Levy and Harry Redknapp, the manager, both know Modric's creativity and tireless work rate in the centre of midfield will be key to the club's attempt to qualify for the Champions League.

Spurs missed out on qualification for this year's Champions League by six points after a dip during the second half of last season and concerns have been raised about their ability to challenge for a place in the top four this term.

Redknapp has made no secret about his desire to sign a striker this summer after Crouch, Jermain Defoe and Roman Pavlyuchenko all struggled to score last term.

Crouch has been linked with moves to QPR and Sunderland, but he has no intention of stepping aside to allow any new arrival to walk into the first team. "There is going to be speculation about your future but I'm extremely happy at this club," Crouch said.

Spurs are expected to find out on Monday how long Steven Pienaar will be out of action for after he hobbled off with a suspected groin tear during the first half of on Sunday.

Published: August 8, 2011 04:00 AM

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