By John Cross
Luka Modric has been frozen out by Tottenham – and left in limbo by suitors Real Madrid.
Croatia midfielder Modric is being forced to train on his own, and new Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is planning for the coming season without him.
But Real president Florentino Perez is close to pulling the plug on their pursuit, having ordering a ‘cooling off’ period until the Spanish champions return home next week from a pre-season tour of the USA.
Perez is sticking to his guns and insisting he will not pay more than £30m, while Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wants closer to £40m.
The two sides are miles apart and the stand-off has left Modric sweating on his future, because Spurs insiders insist Levy will not budge as the player has FOUR years left on his contract.
Modric did not travel to Spain with the Spurs squad for their Thursday night friendly against Valencia and is becoming an outcast at the club.
The 26-year-old is worried his dream move to the Bernabeu is on the brink of collapse.
Villas-Boas is determined not to let Modric become a distraction and has isolated him just as he did with Nicolas Anelka and Alex, who were also forced to train away from the main group when he was Chelsea boss last season.
Spurs are prepared to sell Modric this summer – but only at the right price.
If that offer does not materialise, he will be forced to rejoin the first team group.
Modric now regrets going AWOL earlier in the summer, as it has only strengthened Spurs’ resolve.
Elsewhere, Tottenham, who still have only Jermain Defoe on their books as a senior striker, remain keen on Brazil frontman Leandro Damiao and Manchester City misfit Emmanuel Adebayor.
In Adebayor’s case, a £5m fee and personal terms have been agreed, but there is still a stumbling block in the shape of a £5m pay-off from City.
Adebayor, who hit 18 goals on loan at Spurs from City last season, insists he is entitled to the cash as it was written into his contract, but all parties are refusing to budge.
Meanwhile, Spurs midfielder Scott Parker will miss at least the first month of the seasonafter surgery on the Achilles problem he carried through Euro 2012.
Tottenham have also told Danny Rose he can go out on loan.