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Bilic expecting Modric interest

Croatia manager Slaven Bilic has praised Luka Modric for not sulking after he was refused a move to Chelsea and says he will have plenty of suitors this summer.

Modric publicly stated his desire to move to west London, but Tottenham repelled multiple bids from the Blues and all eyes will be on the Croatian as the two sides go head-to-head at Wembley in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final.

And Bilic, who has worked with Modric since he was 17, has praised the midfielder for his response this season.

"Some players would have shrunk or sulked and said 'why isn't this happening for me?' Bilic said. "But last year we were talking and I told him, 'Luka, it's only up to you. You are only 25, 26 and you are already at a big club and you will have to stay, they won't let you go. So it depends on you to play well and in a few months time other clubs will come again for you'. And that will happen.

"In his situation you have two options: either sulk and ask why it's not happening. Or to play well and they will come again and, possibly, even bigger clubs."

While Bilic was quick to stress that Modric is happy at Spurs, he admitted the midfielder's form will have impressed potential suitors.

"He's done great and the main thing is he's happy," Bilic said. "It's not like he's said to himself 'I will do just one more year'. No, no, no. He's smiling and enjoying it and everyone has recognised that and clubs are impressed by that, you are all impressed by that.

"He likes Harry Redknapp. Not only him. He likes Spurs. But, at the end of the day, Luka knows that he's not playing well just because of Harry. He is playing well for the national team also but, of course, Harry has helped him a lot and has given him confidence. He's a great manager."

Croatia will face Spain, Italy and Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012, and Bilic believes Modric would not look out of place alongside Spanish midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

"He's not a Croatian product," Bilic added. "Everyone in Spain knows him, everyone in Italy knows him, and he would easily fit into their teams. He's not just known in Croatia or in England. He has made of himself a world status. He's world class.

"Before this job I was manager of the under-21s for two years and Luka was in my team so I have known him since he was 17. Basically I felt after the first year working with him that he would, if he continued to improve, become one of the best midfielders in Europe. And that has proved to be true.

"He doesn't score a lot of goals but he's the kind of player who makes his team play better. He makes other players better. He's one of the few players in Europe who can get the team to play 30 yards further forward. The whole team.

"And he doesn't do it with the long ball. It's passing, passing and he gets the whole team moving forward. And that's really difficult to get 30 yards towards the opponents' goal and still keep your shape."


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