Ex-Chelsea scout recalls how he desperately tried to beat Spurs to midfielder

Former Chelsea scout Piet de Visser has revealed that he was desperate to bring Luka Modric to Stamford Bridge before the midfielder completed a move to Tottenham.

Modric was a highly-rated young talent when he arrived at Spurs from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2008 but the Croat quickly evolved into one of the best midfielders in the Premier League over the next few years.

Daniel Levy
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

His performances in the middle of the park were key to the Lilywhites qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in their history in 2010 and subsequently making it to the quarter-finals of the competition during 2010-11.

The midfielder swapped Tottenham for Real Madrid in the summer of 2012 and has since gone on to become one of the greatest players in Los Blacos’ history.

It is well documented that Spurs resisted Chelsea’s advances to sign Modric in 2011, a year before they eventually sold him to Madrid (FourFourTwo).

De Visser, who spent 15 years as a scout at the West London club before departing recently, has now revealed that the Blues wanted to snap up the midfielder even before he joined their London rivals.

He told Voetbal Nieuws: “The whole world knows that Modric is a top midfielder. I have followed him since he was 15 years old.

“I tried so hard for Chelsea to get him young, but I never succeeded. Later, he went to Tottenham Hotspur and then we were too late with Chelsea.”

De Visser also explained how Daniel Levy refused to sell Modric to a Premier League rival in 2011.

He added: “We wanted to pick him up from Tottenham before he moved to Spain). And we were done (with regards to personal terms). 

“The chairman (Daniel Levy) put a stop to it. He said: ‘he can go where he wants, but he will never go to a rival’. Then Modric was sold to Real Madrid for less money (than Chelsea were offering).

“He is a great footballer, an all-rounder. He is small, but he sees the game and also has four lungs. He defends, attacks and passes. Modric has everything. It is not normal that he is still performing at this age.”

Spurs Web Opinion

The way we controlled matches in the 2011-12 season with a midfield trio of Parker, Modric and Van der Vaart, was an absolute delight to watch.  Some of the football we played that season was the best I have ever seen us play, including the brilliant 2016-17 campaign under Pochettino. Modric was undoubtedly the man who made that team tick and the Croat often played the game at his own pace.

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