Harry Redknapp says Arsene Wenger turned down the chance to sign Luka Modric because he was “not physically imposing enough”.
Modric joined Spurs in summer 2008 for £16.5million, and became a fan favourite in his four years at the club.
Juande Ramos was the manager who brought him to White Hart Lane, but Redknapp oversaw most of his spell in north London after becoming boss in October 2008.
Modric made 159 appearances for Tottenham and impressed sufficiently to secure a move to Real Madrid in 2012, but Redknapp reveals that Wenger once turned down the opportunity to sign the Croatian for Arsenal.
‘Luka Modric played off the left but I brought him inside,’ Redknapp wrote in his autobiography, It Shouldn’t Happen to a Manager.
‘That’s even though some of my staff argued against it because they felt that he was not physically imposing enough to play in that area of the pitch.
‘Arsene Wenger was put off signing him for Arsenal for that same reason.
‘But we played him alongside Tom Huddlestone against a tough Chelsea midfield that included Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack and John Obi Mikel.
‘We won 2-1 and Luka still ran the game.’