The transfer tussle between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur over Luka Modric has stepped up another gear after Harry Redknapp labelled the Blues' £22 million June bid for the Croat schemer as "farcical".
That bid was dismissed by Tottenham and the club issued a statement to suggest the player was not for sale at any price. "I was surprised by the figure," said Redknapp to Sky Sports News. "It's a farcical bid. If they're going to make an offer, make an offer, but £22million for Luka Modric is ridiculous."
"We wouldn't put a valuation on him," he continued. "He's such a fantastic player, we don't want to sell him. He's up there with the very, very best players in the Premier League and I think he can play in any team in the world, he's that good."
Speculation over Modric's future has come to the fore this summer after Spurs missed out on Champions League football, and Redknapp admitted it would be a challenge to compete financially with the Premier League's top clubs.
"That is the problem," he said. "It's not only Chelsea who would want him, two or three other clubs would be bidding if we made him available.
"But we don't want to lose him. We need to keep our best players, we need to improve our squad, not decimate it by selling our best players.
"There's no reason we can't show the ambition ourselves. I'm not saying we can pay the wages of Manchester City or Chelsea, but we've got a great group of players and if we can add a few more anything could happen."
Redknapp was also asked about the future of Gareth Bale, frequently linked with Inter Milan last season, but insisted the Wales midfielder would also be at White Hart Lane next season.
"Gareth will stay," he said. "He's a great kid, improving and learning the game all the time and he's coming on leaps and bounds since he broke into the team on a regular basis. He needs to stay at Tottenham and keep learning."