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By ESPN Staff

Redknapp hails example of professional Modric

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp wants his players to follow the example of Luka Modric - on and off the pitch.

Spurs players have been in the headlines at times for the wrong reasons recently but Modric has been the model professional since his arrival from Dinamo Zagreb at the start of last season.

After getting to grips with the pace of the Barclays Premier League, the 23-year-old playmaker is among the first on Redknapp's team sheet and is set to face Hull at the KC Stadium.

''He's not just a great footballer, he and Vedran Corluka are fantastic people,'' Redknapp said. ''There is nothing flash about them. They are dedicated professionals.

''They come here every day and work hard getting on with their training. You haven't got to worry about what they are up to. They are proper solid characters.''

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is among the players who have spoken highly of Croatia midfielder Modric.

''He's a fantastic footballer,'' Redknapp added. ''Alex Ferguson said to me last year that he could play in any team. I agree with him, he's so good.

''Anyone would love to have him. When I was at Portsmouth I spoke to (Croatia boss) Slaven Bilic. Niko Kranjcar was a good player but they all said Modric was the best player. Slaven said he was world class.''

Modric has a slight frame but Redknapp added: ''He's strong. I didn't realise it.

''I thought he was like Eyal Berkovic when I got here, who was a great footballer who had no strength but could play in a certain position.

''This little fella is strong. He heads the ball, tackles and has got strong legs. He's a powerful little lad. He's got a great heart and is a great all-round player.''

Meanwhile, Redknapp insists there is no point overhauling rules on ''tapping up'' because players have always known which clubs are interested in signing them.

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has been quoted suggesting illegal approaches are rife, and there are other claims of his club being unhappy with Spurs signing Peter Crouch when others were willing to pay more money for the striker.

Redknapp argues the role of agents means players always know which teams are interested in their signature.

''Every club lets a player know that they're interested and anyone who says they don't is telling lies,'' he said. ''It's not a case of tapping a player up, it's a case of the agent ringing up and asking if you're interested.

''The message gets back to the player that the club is interested and then he makes up his mind where he wants to go.''


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