Blues non-committal on Modric move
Manager Andre Villas-Boas has refused to rule out Chelsea resurrecting a move for Luka Modric - but insisted it would not come next month.
Modric was at the centre of one of the transfer sagas of the summer when Tottenham rejected more than one bid from the Blues for their star playmaker. Spurs resisted a reported offer of £40 million shortly before the window closed and might have been expecting Chelsea to try again in January.
Blues boss Villas-Boas said: "In the future, I don't know about Modric. We're not looking at it at the moment. He's an extremely creative player, one of the greatest talents in the world, a player who will have tremendous success."
Modric stayed at Tottenham despite a public plea to be allowed to defect to Chelsea, who he saw as more realistic challengers for major honours. Whether he would still feel the same way going into 2012 is open to debate, with Spurs now looking just as well - if not better - equipped to win silverware.
Looming London clash
They have a chance to prove that tonight when the sides meet at White Hart Lane in a Premier League clash that will also have serious implications for the title race. A Chelsea win would keep alive their dwindling hopes, moving them back to within nine points of leaders Manchester City.
Tottenham are two points better off in third place and, crucially, have two games in hand instead of one. A victory for them and there would be no doubt about the more realistic challengers.
Villas-Boas said: "You have to respect that Harry made their title intention public. If he made it like that, that's because his players have the full belief they can go all the way.
"Pressure and expectancy from fans come from statements like that. His players are playing fantastic football at the moment, so they've justified that. They've shown enough confidence that they can achieve it."
Chelsea and Spurs are set to go head to head again in January over the signing of Bolton defender Gary Cahill, with Villas-Boas yesterday admitting his interest. But he denied the Blues were trying to buy Jack Rodwell when the transfer window reopens.
Chelsea were this week linked with a £20 million bid for Everton midfielder Rodwell, who made his senior England debut last month.
Toffees boss David Moyes yesterday said there had been no offers from Chelsea for the 20-year-old and Villas-Boas reaffirmed that. "I saw that we'd been linked with him," he said. "First, it's important to clarify that it's unfair that I constantly comment on other players.
"In midfield, we don't need players. Rodwell has been playing there this season. Midfield is not a sector where we're desperate to strengthen our squad. So at the moment those stories are false."