Monday Kickoff: Modric a no-show, Dempsey bidders warned off & more

Modric (Getty)

American fans hoping to catch Luka Modric during Tottenham's preseason tour are going to miss out.

The Croatian playmaker, who has said he wants to join Real Madrid, failed to report to the team for training Friday and did not join it for its flight Saturday to Los Angeles. The 26-year-old with four years left on his Spurs contract will likely be fined two weeks' pay.

Tottenham is reportedly holding out for a nearly $50 million transfer fee. Paris Saint-Germain, which has been spending liberally this summer, also is said to be interested in Modric's services.

"This will go against him," Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said to Spanish newspaper AS. "He has worsened the situation with what he's doing and now the chairman [Daniel Levy] is very angry."

Tottenham faces the Los Angeles Galaxy on Tuesday, Liverpool in Baltimore on Saturday, and the New York Red Bulls on July 31.

Here are some more stories to get your Monday going:

FULHAM WARNS OFF DEMPSEY BIDDERS

The Clint Dempsey transfer saga has taken another turn, with a source telling ESPN "no bids would be welcome" for the Fulham attacker, as well as in-demand Belgian international Moussa Dembele.

"There are no current bids," the source added, "and none would be welcome."

Dempsey, who has repeatedly expressed a desire to go to a bigger club, has been linked to Liverpool, while Manchester United reportedly are interested in Dembele.

FC DALLAS U-18S WIN NATIONAL TITLE

FC Dallas have already signed a record seven homegrown players. On Sunday, the club's academy added to its impressive resume, as the Dallas U-18s won the U.S. Soccer Development Academy national title with a 3-2 triumph over the Vancouver Whitecaps in Houston.

Danny Garcia scored the first goal for Dallas before second-half substitute Jose de la Tejera bagged two goals, including the 84th-minute winner.

FERGUSON CONFIRMS LUCAS TALKS

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has confirmed his club is in talks with Sao Paulo for Brazilian Olympic midfielder Lucas.

The 19-year-old, who has 11 caps with the senior national team, has also reportedly drawn the attention of Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

————

Are you disappointed Modric isn't with Tottenham for the club's preseason tour? Is Fulham right to not welcome bids for Dempsey? How impressive has Dallas' academy been?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer, Major League Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Modric a no-show, Dempsey bidders warned off & more

  1. Old School says:

    Not a conspiracy theorist on why Dempsey hasn’t/may not move but I will be fairly disappointed if he isn’t given the opportunity, via no bids or bids simply refused.

    I’d love to see the “Dempsey should stay where he’s at because Fulham is the right club size for him/he wouldn’t start at a bigger club” crowd be proven wrong.

    Hope he gets that chance to prove said crowd wrong…

  2. Don Pelayo says:

    The reality is Clint Dempsey is more valuable to Fulham than he is to other clubs. It is perfectly reasonable for them to hold out until they receive at least 10 million pounds.

  3. Mike in Missouri says:

    Guess Clint will just have to lead Fulham to a Champions’ League spot!

  4. Hesyourlifelight says:

    Or they hold out and then Dempsey becomes a free agent and they get nothing

  5. gtv says:

    Too bad for Clint.

  6. BFBS says:

    Actions speak louder than words: he hasn’t been at all involved in any of the friendlies. He had said he wants to play in La Liga someday. This might be his last opportunity (and those who became Fulham supporters because of him could carry on supporting Fulham then).

  7. NE Matt says:

    Oddly enough, Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya both scored in friendly for Rangers. Also, Carlos Bocanegra started and went the distance. I hope these guys are still set on moving on…

    link to scotsman.com

  8. don't argue just vote says:

    So is Clint going to Arsenal or Liverpool or another unknown club?

    It’s been so quiet about Dempsey. It was more active last year with tons of club after him. What’s the deal? His age or his nationality? what’s holding things up?

  9. Gnarls says:

    Glad to hear Modric will be fined for the no-show. Gotta keep it professional.

  10. don't argue just vote says:

    Absolutely. Rangers can’t afford them. I can imagine guys in the 3rd Division are amateurs, guys who work in libraries and at the post office.

    Edu. France or Turkey if you ask me
    Bocanegra. France or Portugal or Italy
    Bedoya. Scandinavia or Holland

  11. silo says:

    Clint in LA LIGA would be amazing. Valencia. He could play there. Probably wouldn’t start half the matches but would be GREAT

  12. Dimidri says:

    I hope he stays. I’ve said this before, if his desire is to make more money or have the prestige of playing with a ‘big team’ then I understand. But if he just wants to play in the CL and hear the anthem and play ‘against the best’ then he needs to really reconsider.

    If he does play on a team that makes it to the CL he will not be playing on one making a deep run most likely, he will not be playing against more than 2 good teams, and really, is playing against Inter in a home and home in the playoff round and Porto in the group stage really worth leaving everything he has with Fulham in London?

    Most CL group stages aren’t anything to write home about, and he already plays against either the best or the second best competition in the world. The caliber of teams that are after him just aren’t the type to make it that far. Moreover, he could make it to the CL playoff round one year, get knocked out, then never qualify again. Heck, Fulham have almost as good a chance at qualifying as Liverpool do.

    Him staying isn’t complacency, it’s realistic loyalty. He has a team set up to feed his strengths, the chance to actually create history as opposed to just repeating it, and a great life in London.

    Moreover, between the additional cup matches in England, the general depth the league has, and the fact that playing on a CL team he can’t ‘play against himself’, a move to other leagues could actually decrease the amount of high quality games he would get to play in. Obviously it’s up to him, but for my money, become a legend in Fulham.

  13. biff says:

    The Clint Dempsey news story linked above does not appear to be new, but based on a comment by a Fulham spokesperson reported July 18 about Dempsey, for example by the three newspapers linked below.

    link to guardian.co.uk

    link to thesun.co.uk

    link to telegraph.co.uk

  14. TheFrenchOne says:

    you did read the article, didn’t you?

  15. dcm says:

    have you guys ever followed the transfer season before? the more a team says they will not sell a player, the more they want to sell the player (at a higher price.) this is not news.

  16. Mig22 says:

    I like Modric enough but also think Spurs are on crack to even banter around $50M as a transfer fee. He just ain’t all that. Maybe half that, maybe $30M? But to start @ $50M seems to be self-defeating. Now Real Madrid’s interest is in doubt and Modric is pissed so there’s a situation.

    Thoughts?

  17. Old School says:

    Exactly what my post above was in reference to.

  18. bottlcaps says:

    They still have the rest of this transfer period and 10M is a lot to ask for, BUT there are teams who may bite on this in this transfer period. What Fulham does not want is a lot of bidders setting the bar low, at say, 3-4M pounds.and having Fulham to repeatedly say no. On the other hand if no sale is achieved this summer the winter transfer period would be the next chance, but at a lower price. But it seems like a fair strategy for Fulham to maximize their profit from him. The other reason is that Dempsey likes Fulham and is not adverse in staying there. It’s not like he is demanding to be traded. He just expressed his desire to play CL football. Who knows, maybe Fulham will be in the top 4-5 the next transfer period and Dempsey might throw in his lot for Fulham for the rest of the season and if they make it, then he resigns, if not it’s off as a free signing. All-in-all not a bad gamble for Fulham, to keep one of the hottest players in the EPL.

  19. Vic says:

    True but Spurs aren’t a selling club. If Modric is angry that’s his problem.

  20. Mig22 says:

    Agreed, in legal terms it’s his problem. However, in real terms, a club with an expensive player that is dissatisfied also has a pretty big problem too.

  21. Dave says:

    Dear Modric,

    Don’t sign long-term contracts if you are just going to get up and leave. With 4 years left, Spurs have every right to ask whatever they want and if it doesn’t happen, keep him. Is it probably not fantastic for team chemistry, yes, but if you’ve got four years left on your deal, that’s A LOT different then being in the last year and not wanting to re-sign.

  22. Helium-3 says:

    I agree, money ALWAYS talks. A team like Fulham is in no position to turn down money when Dempsey has a year left. $10M (15M USD)
    or free, what would you do?

  23. et says:

    In the perfect world Dempsey would be sold for 10million British pounds to a big club like Arsenal or Juventus or Valencia. But that would be the case if he were English or Spanish

  24. et says:

    I want a movie made on Dempsey’s life. My agent wants Jake Gyllenhaal to play him. What do you think?

    Soderbergh directing. Budget of 30million. Out in 2015

  25. Kevin_Amold says:

    Excellent. I wanted to make this post, but you’ve done it earlier and better than I could. Two thoughts:

    1)Fulham are showing some ambition, although the possibility of making the champions league is almost nil.

    2)Liverpool are about as likely to make the champions league as Fulham. I just can’t see Chelsea not getting back in the top four, which means Liverpool have to surpass United, City, Chelsea, or Arsenal, with Spurs and Newcastle sprinkled in. Not good odds.

    I wouldn’t blame him for trying to play at the highest level, but staying at Fulham is hardly something for Dempsey fans to turn their noses up at.

  26. beto says:

    when you deal with Madrid, you know they can spend that kind of money, so either pay up or Spurs keep him.. I wouldn’t pay that much for him but when the only clubs looking to buy him are Chelsea and Madrid it can happen.

  27. ET's Agent says:

    I said all that? I must have done a lot of coke that night…

  28. beto says:

    interesting that its the same story with Donovan. His price tag of $7~10mil has held all serious bids off as “he is more valuable to his current club than the buying one”

    ….

    anti-American football bias; it must be.

  29. beto says:

    That would be the best. I hope that they sign him and Dembele to long term deals and buy up around them. Realistic? Not at all but maybe…

  30. beto says:

    why is Vancouver in the US Development Academy tournament?

  31. Charles says:

    Funny the reaction to a team not selling Dempsey. Team values him more, he should stay, etc.

    IF it had been a MLS team doing that, of course the reaction would be the same (sarcasm doesn’t begin to define the statement).

  32. soccerroo says:

    Only happens if he get to the Champions League and wins it.

  33. beto says:

    also Whitbread to sign at Leicester City and to play in front of GK Kasper Schmeichel! Good move.

  34. KJ says:

    Highlights of the U-18 game

    link to youtube.com

  35. Otto says:

    I imagine because they are in MLS but it is a little strange. They have to follow the US Soccer Fed curriculum and get evaluated by US coaches. Why would we invest our coaching resources in Canadian players? It’s good for MLS though and it’s neighborly. They also may accept a US citizen or two into their academy and hopefully treat them equally to a Canadian

  36. Otto says:

    Forgot to add. Vancouver is a part of the USSF Development Academy

  37. THomas says:

    Not entirely out of the question, given the relative parity that was displayed last year (aside from the Manchester clubs). At least one Champs League spot could be won by 4-6 teams. If the Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/Newcastle’s of the world start taking points off eachother, it’s fair to say a club that usually finishes 7-12 in the league could make a run at it.

    If Liverpool isn’t in the Champions League, what’s the use of selling him now? See where the club is in January, if Fulham have a realistic shot at a to 4 finish, keep him. If not, sell him to a team looking for that piece to push them into the top 4. So what if you lose $5 million off the fee. Maybe you get more though? Isn’t it worth $5 to see what you could do w/ the squad they’ve assembled?

  38. THomas says:

    I became a Fulham supporter during the McBride/Bocanegra/Keller days post world cup 2006.

    They were fun to support before Clint, they’ll be fun to support after Clint. I just want the best Fulham team and obviously Dempsey makes them better. No doubting his move to a big club will help American soccer so it’s almost a win/win for American Fulham supporters.

    That said, if he leave I feel like Fulham would look to bring in an American as they have a great following here, especially for a small club. Maybe a Shea if he ever returns to form? A Salgado eventually as he’s trained there before?

  39. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I think Fulham believe the can get a Europa spot if Dempsey and Dembele stay. A Europa spot is worth more financially to the club than what they would get as a transfer fee for Dempsey or Dembele or probably both combined. So if that is the case it doesn’t matter if they lose them for nothing. What is weird is that I keep reading Fulham has received NO offers for Dempsey. Why is that? Is he just not rated or is it too early in the the transfer window?

  40. THomas says:

    We could see what an attacking force him and Rossi could be together. If not for country, why not club?

  41. THomas says:

    Agree with both of you entirely. Wish I read this before I posted above. Great points.

  42. im curious to know why people(americans) seem to believe clint couldnt start or play regularly for a top champions league side…..clint is a top player and has been for sometime now and quite frankly i think he could walk into alot of these so called super teams n europe and be very productive for them to boot! Show some faith homies and don’t say your being realistic when your only being eurosnobs at best!

  43. Mig22 says:

    yeah, and even Chelsea is becoming more hardcore in their spending. City, Madrid, and now PSG are targets for confiscatory pricing because they apparently will pay it. Good point.

  44. Kevin_Amold says:

    What I am, Ronnie, is cognizant that success at a club is often a product of several factors.

    1)Is the player culturally adapted to the place he plays? (ie Language, etc)
    2)Is his family settled?
    3)Does the player feel welcomed at the club?
    4)How does this player relate to the manager, and vice versa?
    5)How does the team’s style of play fit in with the player’s style?
    6)How many other players is the player competing with?
    7)How is the locker room atmosphere?

    And on and on…the issue, Ronnie, is that Dempsey has found an excellent success formula at Fulham. Could he find a similarly winning formula somewhere else? Perhaps, but it is a risk. I don’t bet against Dempsey but when you see players like Gio dos Santos, Andy Carroll, Fernando Torres, and others go to new clubs and struggle, you see that it’s hardly a sure thing.

    And, as a USMNT-obsessed fan, I want Dempsey as sharp as possible and as game-tested as possible.

  45. vince says:

    i think if you finish 4th, you miss out on CL now…for some reason, Spurs finished 4th this past season and they didn’t get an automatic spot into the CL

  46. nanostyle says:

    Spurs missed out because Chelsea won the Champions League

  47. b says:

    Huh? Isn’t Rossi injured? And didn’t Villareal get relegated?

  48. b says:

    Well, it’s quite a step down from being in the Premier League with Norwich City…

  49. TomG says:

    Methinks he read the name, “Dempsey,” and ignored the rest.

  50. TomG says:

    Deuce’s situation is extremely similar to RVP’s, so it will be interesting to see how each plays out.

  51. Lindsay Lohan says:

    you snorted all of mine as well. I thought you guys would help me do a film with me playing Mia Hamm?